NASELLE - "We will not lay off any staff due to a reduction in force next year. The administrative team has worked hard to accomplish this," Naselle-Grays River Valley Superintendent Alan Bennett told his classified and certified staff last week. Bennett went on to say the district will cut overhead and administrative costs, use Federal stimulus funds to back-fill previous cuts, and use attrition so that "no one will lose their job."

Bennett added, "Our district was in good shape financially in anticipation for something like the downturn in the economy. We have benefited from extra revenue from grants, from our home school program, and from previous cuts in overhead."

Bennett went on to say, "I am truly sorry that so many of you have had so much uncertainty over your job. I can speak for the administration and the school board and say that we have taken our responsibility towards each staff member to heart and have done everything possible to avoid a RIF in these troubled times."

He said, "Thankfully, we have managed to accomplish that goal. I certainly could not have done this on my own. The board has been supportive. Principal Karen Wirkkala, Assistant Principal Jon Tienhaara, Youth Camp School Principal Lisa Nelson and district secretary Marilyn Strange have been creative, industrious and informed. We have also had good support from OSPI, the ESD and our attorneys."

Bennett concluded, "For sure there will be some changes in who does what and this is not the time to worry about that. Each of you will still have a job and we will all work together to serve kids and our community well. Thank you for your patience. These have been difficult times for all of us."

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