Thursday March 21, 2013

DAWSON RASPUZZI

Staff Writer

BENNINGTON -- The Southwest Vermont Career Development Center school board accepted the retirement of its longtime business manager at its re-organization meeting Monday, and also announced a new vacancy on the board.

Justin Corcoran resigns from board

The retirement of Business Manager Greg Lewis will be effective July 1, after he completes his 13th year at the technical center. Also announced was the resignation of Justin Corcoran from the school board effective Tuesday.

In his letter of intent to retire, dated March 5, Lewis expressed a willingness to help facilitate a smooth transition by continuing to work after his retirement on a contracted basis if needed.

In an email Wednesday, Lewis said the reasons for his retirement are a "private matter" and declined an interview.

The need for a full-time business manager at the technical center has been discussed since an independent efficiency report released last January recommended it’s elimination. Among nearly 50 recommendations in the report by Dr. Robert Schiller were those to consolidate CDC’s business functions into the larger business office of Southwest Vermont Supervisory Union and eliminate the business manager position.

The need for the position, among many others, has been evaluated by Superintendent James Culkeen since the report’s release.


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Culkeen said Wednesday the business manager position is one of three positions he is considering recommending the school board reduce to part time. With Lewis’ retirement, Culkeen said another option for the district may be contracting business services or seeking another model.

Triggered by an independent efficiency report released last January, the technical center’s full-time business manager position has been called into question over the past 14 months. Among nearly 50 recommendations in the report by Dr. Robert Schiller were those to consolidate CDC’s business functions into the larger business office of Southwest Vermont Supervisory Union and eliminate the business manager position.

Multiple people familiar with the situation told the Banner CDC administration expects to recommend a reduction of the position to part time next fall.

In addition to Lewis, Superintendent James Culkeen announced Monday the anticipated resignation of engineering teacher Addie VanDeurzen at the end of the school year.

Corcoran also announced Monday was his final meeting, concluding seven years of service on the school board.

"A change in schedule has left me without the means to designate the appropriate amount of time that is required to be an effective board member," Corcoran wrote in an email read at the meeting by Jim Boutin, who was re-elected as chairman earlier in the meeting.

In addition to his position on the CDC board, Corcoran was elected two years ago to the Bennington Select Board.

Corcoran was most recently re-elected to a three-year term on the CDC board in 2012. His resignation, which the board will vote to accept in April, will leave the board in the same position it found itself in just a year ago with the task of appointing a new member.

When a board member resigned from the CDC board last June, the board decided to appoint someone to fill the seat until the following election in March. The year that remained on the term was filled through the election in March.

Boutin could not be reached Wednesday for comment as to whether a similar process will take place to fill the current vacancy.

In addition to Boutin being re-elected chairman, the board also unanimously re-elected Rickey Harrington as vice chairman and Kevin Goodhue as clerk.

Contact Dawson Raspuzzi at draspuzzi@benningtonbanner.com or follow on Twitter @DawsonRaspuzzi