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Ubly Community Schools Superintendent
Huron Daily Tribune - Schools lauded
"I think it's terrific," said Ubly Superintendent Hal Hooks.
Huron Daily Tribune - Ubly, Hooks reach separation agreement
UBLY - When former Ubly Community Schools Superintendent Hal Hooks tendered his resignation for retirement reasons as of Jan. 12, he and the board of education worked out a separation agreement, which was effective as of Jan. 15.The agreement stated Hooks will release the district, the board and the staff "from any and all claims, causes of action, damages or liability of every kind, nature or description."This includes any claim under the Age Discrimination in Employment Act/Older Workers' Benefits Protection Act, the federal Civil Rights Act, the Michigan Elliott-Larsen Civil Rights Act and the Michigan Persons with Disabilities Civil Rights Act along with all other pertinent state and federal statues; claims for personal injury and/or damages of any kind, including but not limited to those for infliction of mental or emotional distress, invasion of privacy, defamation and/or injury to reputation; and any kind of contractual, legal or equitable claim arising from Hooks' employment and resignation from the district including any and all of the circumstances leading to his resignation under the terms of the separation agreement.According to the agreement, Hooks acknowledges and agrees that the board, including individual board members and staff members, "has not made any representation or provided any advice with regard to Hooks' eligibility for benefits under the Michigan Public School Employees Retirement System."In addition, Hooks agrees that "he will not attempt to hold them responsible with respect to any dispute or controversy regarding his eligibility for and/or benefits received with MPSERS as a result of his resignation."Hooks can pursue any such dispute with MPSERS if he chooses to do so.The agreement further states Hooks acknowledges and agrees that he releases his right to employment as a tenured teacher with the board.Hooks can appeal this decision to the State Tenure Commission within 20 days of the agreement being signed.The board and Hooks agree, according to the separation agreement language, that the agreement should not be considered precedent setting in this or any other future situation."This agreement shall not be construed as an admission of wrongdoing on the part of any party or shall either party unreasonably disparage the other," the language stated.The agreement requires that Hooks receive a letter of reference from board President Kevin O'Connor and that the district will remove any unsatisfactory evaluations from Hooks' file if he so requests within 14 days of the agreement being signed.According to the agreement language, Hooks acknowledges he had 21 days from the receipt of the agreement to consider the terms and conditions of the agreement and he was advised in writing to consult with an attorney prior to executing the agreement.Hooks also had seven days to revoke his acceptance of the agreement after he signed it Jan. 15.The Huron Daily Tribune contacted O'Connor Thursday, and he chose not to comment about the agreement.Several attempts to reach Hooks were unsuccessful.Since Hooks retired Jan. 12, the board has appointed elementary Principal Kenneth Sweeney as district superintendent.
Hal Hooks, Ubly Community Schools
Huron Daily Tribune - Fund balances how much is too much?
"You don't necessarily measure a school's financial success by the size of its fund balance," said Ubly Superintendent Hal Hooks.
Huron Daily Tribune - Breaking down the fund balance
"Without a fund balance, we'd have to cut staff, and kids don't get the education they deserve," said Ubly Community Schools Superintendent Hal Hooks.Hooks said fund balances are not a good source of revenue for recurring costs like salaries and increases.He said for example, if a 2 percent raise is given for two years and fund equity is used, what if the raise is continued past the two years?The fund balance would decrease and eventually be depleted."It's better to use fund equity for one-time purchases that won't continue over time, such as textbooks or building materials for a small construction project," he said.Hooks noted fund balances are only used for necessities, not for "something that would be kind of nice to have."Some districts earmark fund balance money for particular purposes, Hooks said."Most districts don't want to lock up fund equity like that," he said.