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Morristown to offer Spanish Four and Five

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MORRISTOWN – The Morristown Board of Education voted Tuesday to reinstate Spanish teacher Elizabeth Congleton as a full-time employee.

The position had been moved down to a part-time position during last year’s budget deliberations, and the decision to return it to full time comes with a roughly $18,000 price tag, including benefits.

Due to “scheduling issues” Ms. Congleton could not teach Spanish four or five as a part-time employee, said Superintendent David J. Glover at Tuesday’s board meeting.

At last week’s board meeting it was decided that if enough student interest in those courses could be found, the position would be moved back up to full time. The board was looking for a minimum of seven students interested in both.

“We could solidly have a class of five,” said Mr. Glover, speaking of students who had come forward with both interest and the availability in their schedule for the class.

Board member Jane Kring said the board last year had cut the position down to part time with the understanding that Spanish four and five could still be offered.

“That’s what we intended to offer the students,” she said. “If the schedule worked it would have fit.”

Mr. Glover said he consulted with area colleges and found a “mixed bag” in terms of requiring upper level language classes.

He said colleges prefer students who have had a “vigorous schedule” in high school.

“This is not a money issue,” said board member Mark Tayler.

The $18,000 will come out of the school’s fund balance.

Voting in favor besides Ms. Kring and Mr. Tayler were board member Mary Anne Bailey and President Cyril Aldrich. Vice President Darrell Merkel and board members Shawn Macaulay and James Michaels voted against it.

“We’re spending money we don’t have,” said Ms. Kring.

She said, however, that she didn’t see any alternative.

Ms. Congleton started as a full-time employee Wednesday.

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