By David Martin

10 take volunteer separation


February 14, 2018

Ten school district employees, one administrator and nine teachers, signed up to take a volunteer separation program.

The Sweetwater County School District No. 2 Board of Trustees approved the employees’ separation Tuesday evening, which will take effect at the end of the fiscal year.

Board members had mixed emotions about their decision, happy the 10 had taken up an offer intended to avoid layoffs within the district, but disappointed with the reason why they’re forced into offering the program in the first place.

“I congratulate all the people for the careers they had,” Board member John Malone said.

Malone’s comments quickly turned towards the Wyoming Legislature however, saying the district is helpless to fix the funding problem they face and criticizing legislators for not considering the impacts funding cuts would have on education.

“No wonder why they don’t want to let us sue them,” he said.

Pete Brandjord, the district’s business manager, is one of the 10 involved with the program. He said the timing is right for him and his family, which helped him make the decision. He also thinks it’s time for him to move on from the district.

“It’s time for me to get out of the way and let (other employees) grow,” he said. “We’ve got a good staff in the business office and it’s time to pass the torch.”

The program was first introduced last month, a month after the board decided to close Jackson Elementary at the end of the year.

The program was designed to help the district avoid laying off employees due to real and potential funding reductions the district will see. Right now, the district anticipates a reduction of $1.1 million due to enrollment declines. The figure may increase depending on decisions made by the Legislature.

“We are losing a ton of experience --that’s the sad part of it,” Superintendent Donna Little-Kaumo said.


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