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Hall school system able to rehire 23 laid-off teachers
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Staffing is settling into place for Hall County schools as nearly two dozen teachers laid off last school year are back to work.

Hall County Assistant Superintendent Richard Hill said the system rehired 23 of the 100 teachers not offered 2009-10 contracts in April. He said those rehires have taken place since May.

"There’s always changes over the summer after the school year ends," Hill said.

Although the system still is operating with about 100 fewer teachers this year compared to last, resignations and federal stimulus funding allowed the system to hire back teachers, he said.

"They went through a period that I know was very troubling for them, but it wasn’t until those two things happened that we were able to bring them back," Hill said.

He said the rehired teachers signed one-year contracts with the system.

The teachers were laid off at the end of last school year because the school board feared state budget cuts to education and dwindling local revenue could not support full staffing.

Hill said federal stimulus funding was able to help the system rehire teachers for special education or economically disadvantaged students.

Enrollment increased by about 150 new students this year, requiring some more teachers, Hill added.

In other staff changes, the board approved Chestatee High School Principal Bill Thompson’s retirement Monday night. In November, Thompson will work part time as Chestatee High’s assistant principal.

Hall County schools Superintendent Will Schofield called Thompson a "special man" who worked in Hall County schools since 1977. He said Thompson was at Johnson High School for 21 years and then moved to Chestatee High shortly after it opened.

"Words cannot describe what Dr. Thompson has meant to this school system over the years," Schofield said. "We’ll do whatever we can to support him and his family."

Schofield said Terry Sapp, an educator of 28 years, will serve as Chestatee High’s interim principal for the remainder of the school year.