Salem School cuts finalized; Merrill resigns

Salem Schol Board President Patricia Merrill (right) hugs board member Peggy Aull after Merrill announced her resignation Thursday night.

Salem Schol Board President Patricia Merrill (right) hugs board member Peggy Aull after Merrill announced her resignation Thursday night.



There was more news made at the special Salem School Board meeting tonight than anticipated.

The anticipated part happened; staff and extracurricular cuts were made to balance the next school year budget.

But board President Patricia Merrill also resigned during her post vote comments.

Here’s video of the board making the staff cut:


Merrill said the decision to resign was difficult and one that she was undecided on until this evening.

“Until about two hours ago, I didn’t know which speech I was going to give,” Merrill said.

Merrill, who was re-elected to her post in April, said she did not have the energy to continue on the board.

Merrill addressed the SOS Committee (which formed to support the referendum), the staffers who were being cut, parents seeking to open enroll students into other districts, school parents in general and each individual board member as part of her remarks.

“If there’s been one good thing that’s come from these referendums it’s the people,” Merrill said referring to attendance at recent School Board meetings. “Look at the people.”

Merrill urged those seeking open enrollment to instead work to make Salem a better school.

“Make this the school you want it to be,” Merrill said.

As she concluded her remarks, about two thirds of the nearly full house in the Large Group Instruction room gave Merrill a standing ovation. After the meeting was concluded Merrill hugged board member Peggy Aull and then board member Larry Kamin.

The board first voted on staff cuts and then extra curricular cuts. The latter save about $50,000, with the rest of the savings coming from the staff cuts.

The cuts made Thursday were actually a little deeper than those that were publicized during the referendum push. Thursday’s cut laid off eight classroom teachers instead of three due to uncertainty about open enrollment ¬†students who are seeking to leave the district, Milz explained. If enough of those students end up staying at Salem, some teachers could he recalled.

Open enrollment status will be known in early June, said Peter Geissal, business manager.

Tuesday’s failed referendum sought to allow the district to exceed the state-imposed revenue limit by $1.6 million ayear for three years. It was the fourth attempt at a referendum in the past year for Salem.



  1. natalie says:

    Dear Patty,

    If your reading this, thank you for your service. I can’t say I’ve agreed with all your decisions, but I can personally say I would never have done or dealt with what you have without pay.

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