Colon Schools cut four teachers

Four staff members were the latest victims of Colon Community Schools’ financial woes.
Members of the district’s board of education Monday laid off science teacher Darrin VandenBerg, social studies teacher Matt Swanwick, English and Spanish teacher Staci Hofer, and early childhood special education teacher Erin Gose.
VandenBerg, a 10-year employee and former athletic director, also coached the school’s varsity football and wrestling teams. Swanwick worked for the district for 14 years, while Hofer was a three-year employee. Gose, a three-year staff member, was employed at Leonidas School while all others worked at Colon High School.
Three people addressed the board, all contesting the decision to layoff VandenBerg, a father of five.
His wife, Elizabeth VandenBerg, said the couple has been overwhelmed and humbled by the support they have received from the community. She said her husband was recently offered a position at three different school districts and he accepted a teaching position with Constantine Public Schools.
Board president Eric Wagner said the layoffs are an unfortunate situation that reflects the dire financial state of the 600-student district.
The board’s vote on the layoff resolution passed with Jennifer Greenwald casting the lone dissenting vote.

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