A $50,000 payout has enticed nearly a dozen Centerville School District employees to retire early.

On Monday the school board approved a list of 11 early retirees that took advantage of the district’s program to retire early. They’ll receive a $50,000 lump sum payment and able to purchase health insurance on the district’s plan. They’ll also be eligible to receive some reimbursement for accrued by unused sick leave and flexible leave.

Staff members approved were Janice Bolger, Paula Brinegar, Rhonda Caylor, Jim DePrizio, Merry Dudley, Linda Harlan, Carol Heffron, Kathy Heitmeyer, Faith Kaster, Diane Mueller and Kim Walker.

The district’s administrative staff will now determine which positions will need to be replaced, and by whom. Superintendent Tom Rubel said that process should be completed by the end of January, where the hiring or internal transfer processes would take place.

Leaders say the decision to offer the program is purely a financial one.

“Early retirement is a financial initiative by the district. It is not a signal to anybody that they’ve worn out their welcome, by any means,” Rubel said.

Centerville School Board President Marty Braster added during a statement expressing gratitude to the 11 retirees that “nobody in their right mind would actually want to lose these people. ... It’s impossible to express our appreciation on behalf of our students and community for your dedicated service.”

In other news:

— The board received an update on the new sister school agreement with Shijiazhuang Foreign Language School in China from dean of students Andy Hotek. It’s currently planned that in late January 12 students and two teachers from the China school district will be visiting Iowa and Centerville before heading to Washington, D.C. and New York City. The China school is covering the expenses. Hotek said that it’s possible some Centerville teachers could visit the school in China in October 2020, with almost all expenses paid by SFLS. Additionally, Hotek is hopeful at the possibility of some Centerville students visit the China school in the 2020-21 school year, again with expenses paid by SFLS.

— Rubel said the district will be planning an open public meeting over updating the master facilities plan. He encouraged board members to recommend some citizens to be invited to the meeting, but said the entire public will be able to hear a presentation on the proposed updated master facilities plan. The meeting has been tentatively set for Jan. 20 at Lakeview Elementary School.

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Kyle Ocker can be reached at kocker@dailyiowegian.com or by calling the newsroom at 641-856-6336. Follow him on Twitter @Kyle_Ocker

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Editor

Kyle Ocker is the editor of the Daily Iowegian. Prior to becoming editor, Ocker was a correspondent, sports editor and associate editor at the Daily Iowegian, and was the managing editor of the Knoxville Journal-Express.

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