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New hires, layoffs approved for 2019-20

By Kevin Boneske
Staff Writer

ASHWAUBENON – The hiring of a new high school principal was made official Wednesday, May 8, when the Ashwaubenon school board approved a series of staff positions for 2019-20.

Dirk Ribbens, currently an associate principal at AHS, received final approval to take over as high school principal, effective July 1 when he will replace Brian Nelsen, who has been with the district since 2000 and the high school principal for the past six years.

Nelsen was honored at the meeting for his years of service with the district with an Excellence Award from Jay Van Laanen, board president.

Ribbens, who has been in the field of education since 1993, began his career at Verona Area High School, where he taught Spanish from 1993 until 2003.

He then came to the Ashwaubenon in 2003, teaching Spanish at Cormier and Valley View elementary schools and AHS.

Ribbens also was an at-risk instructor in Ashwaubenon from 2005 until 2007, before taking over in 2007 as the AHS associate principal.

Ribbens’s elevation to AHS principal is also resulting in the district having to fill the associate principal position at the high school.

Board members also approved eight other positions, five at the high school and three at the Parkview Middle School, for 2019-20.

At AHS, the four full-time hires include: Brianna Delaney, cross categorical instructor; Ross Kinate, mathematics instructor; Matt Schoening, cross categorical instructor; and Joy Rockstroh, school counselor.

Kelly Lefevre, English language arts instructor, has been hired on a half-time basis at AHS due to an increase in student enrollment.

At Parkview, the three full-time hires include: Colton Orrico-Zimmerman, cross categorical instructor; Claire Steffen, cross categorical instructor; and Jake Imig, at-risk instructor.

Layoffs rescinded, approved

Two full-time teachers who received preliminary layoff notices last month because of budget concerns will be able to return for 2019-20.

Cassandra Shallue, a five-year-old kindergarten teacher at Valley View, and Michelle Flannigon, a sixth-grade teacher at Parkview, received the preliminary notices, but won’t receive the final layoff notice.

This is based on the district’s need to maintain staff for the projected student enrollment and increased confidence the next biennial state budget will include an increase in either the revenue limit per pupil or the per pupil aid amount, said Business Director Keith Lucius.

“We eased our budget concerns and decided not to issue them a final (layoff) notice,” Lucius said.

However, the board did issue final layoff notices to two others: Allison Sudol, a half-time, four-year-old kindergarten teacher at Cormier; and Patricia Christensen, an elementary music teacher at Cormier and Valley View, whose FTE status is being reduced by .08 from .72 to .64.

Lucius said he hopes 4K student numbers will make it possible to recall Sudol this summer, while the FTE decrease for Christensen is because of a reduction in the number of sections.

“There’s a lot of uncertainty in that 4K group every year,” Lucius said. “It’s just hard to project those kids.”

To be able to lay off a teacher for the next school year, Lucius said state law requires a preliminary notice to be made by April 30 and then a final notice being issued by May 15.

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