Several staff members leave Venice High

Kimberly Velasquez, Features Editor

Several Venice teachers from last year left because they were laid off by LAUSD or they chose to leave Venice. Former English teacher Saundra Woodruff, former graphic arts teacher Arthur Lindauer, former history teacher Peta Lindsay, former college counselor Nilou Pourmoussa, former science teacher Caroline Nonay and former special education teacher Marc Kovan are some of the faculty members that are now gone. Some teachers received a Reduction in Force Layoff (RIF) notice from LAUSD in the spring, which allowed the district to lay them off. In some cases, students did not know the faculty members would not come back.

Last school year was Ms. Lindsay’s first year as a full time teacher. She taught US history, government and economics.

“I don’t mind working hard for my students, but after months of working unpaid overtime, nights and weekends and struggling in an overcrowded, under-resourced classroom – to get a layoff notice after all that, was a slap in the face,” Ms. Lindsay wrote to the Oarsman in an email.

In other words, the district “decided that they had more history teachers on staff than they wanted to pay, so they started laying them off, beginning with the last ones hired,” wrote Ms. Lindsay. Students protested to try to keep her and other teachers.

Ms. Lindsay claimed that RIF notices were not distributed at other neighboring school districts.

Mr. Lindauer was just two years away from retiring, according to an email he sent to the Oarsman. In previous years, Mr. Lindauer applied for and obtained a grant for $3 million worth of printing equipment and computers that were installed in 2012 and he was still let go. Besides his Graphic Arts classes, he was also the yearbook adviser for the past two years.

According to Mr. Lindauer, he was offered the chance to stay and work as a Regional Occupational Program (ROP) teacher, but he didn’t want to lose his seniority as a LAUSD teacher.
According to an email that was sent specifically to seniors, college counselor Pourmoussa made it clear that she left Venice and took a job at another school due to the fact that she wasn’t sure she would have a job.