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Edison Local Teachers Return to the Classroom

November 20, 2007
HAMMONDSVILLE — Edison Local teachers are back in their classrooms today following an eight-day strike in the school district.

Monday marked the return of 140 teachers to the Edison Local School District.

After working without a contract since June 14, members of the Edison Local Education Association and the school board hammered out a tentative contract Saturday with the help of federal mediator Laura Shepherd at the Jefferson County Courthouse.

According to ELEA spokesperson Jamie Evans, the teachers returned to their positions today after members voted 117-3 to temporarily ratify the contract. Details of that three-year pact will not be released until the parties have officially ratified the agreement, according to Evans.

The Edison Local school board has yet to meet to vote on the contract.

Neither Superintendent Lisa Carmichael nor board President Karen Sue Taylor could be reached for comment, and Taylor said Saturday she was not sure when the board will meet for a ratification vote.

Taylor added Saturday she was “hoping to see our teachers back in the classroom Monday morning.”

And they are.

During the strike period, officials noted of the 2,290 students enrolled in the district’s five schools, less than 4 percent of those students actually attended classes. However, the scene Monday showed something altogether different.

Fatima Smuck, principal at John Gregg Elementary and Springfield Middle schools, said early Monday “all of the students are back.”

“Our teachers are back and we are all gung ho right now going about the business of educating our students,” Smuck continued. “Our teachers came in early to get organized and are all glad to be back. We had a brief meeting this morning and welcomed their return.”

Smuck said teachers and administrators are once again making the education of the schools’ children their “No. 1 priority.”

“Everything is going fine,” said Stanton Elementary School Principal Rich Wilinski of his pupils. “The children all arrived on their buses on time, breakfast went well and they are now in their classrooms learning.

“All of the teachers are here and we’re happy to have them back again,” Wilinski added.

Dana Snider, principal at Pleasant Hill Elementary School, said her building began Monday with something special for its teachers.

“We started the day off with a celebration breakfast and meeting this morning,” Snider said. She added the teachers, staff and administration are confident in “knowing that we’ll be back to doing what we do best — educating our students.”

Edison High School Principal Matt Morrison could not be reached for comment early Monday.

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