WILMINGTON AREA Teacher incentives are offered

District offers health care with early retirement.
NEW WILMINGTON, Pa. -- Directors at Wilmington Area Schools have approved another early retirement incentive program for teachers.
Under the plan, teachers with at least 20 years of service are eligible for early retirement.
Superintendent Dr. C. Joyce Nicksick said this is the fourth time this incentive has been offered in the past 10 to 12 years.
The incentive allows teachers to retire with health benefits.
Teachers' contracts do not provide paid health benefits after retirement, she said, but under this plan, qualifying teachers may draw from an account that has been set aside for them and apply it to health and dental benefits.
Nicksick said such incentives allow the district to reduce costs, though "one major downfall is we have the chance of losing some valuable teachers."
She predicted that the district could lose six to eight teachers under the offer.
The board welcomed Mary Buckwalter, who was chosen to replace former board member Richard Houlette, who died Jan. 14. Buckwalter served as school director from 1999 through 2003.
She said she was pleased she could be of service to the board. "We have a nice mix of board members."
Buckwalter will serve the unexpired term until December 2005, and said she plans to run for another term.

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