Rowland Unified hopes 50 teachers and administrators will retire this summer. In fact, it is offering incentives worth $1 million to entice teachers to put away their books.

"It's good for teachers looking to retire in the next couple years and it's good for the district financially," explained Superintendent Ruben Frutos.

Interim Chief Business Officer Ajay Mohindra said that the retirement incentive will save the district approximately $2.5 million.

Rowland began the incentive program three years ago, when it offered the $20,000 credit or $15,000 cash to 20 educators. Last year, that number rose to 30 teachers and administrators. This year, it has cut out the cash option and is giving two years service

Principal Nancy Padilla speaks during the Nogales High School commencement in 2011. (Staff Photo by Keith Birmingham)

"These teachers earn $75,000 a year, while a new teacher starts at $40,000," Frutos noted. "So it saves the district money to offer these incentives to retire."

While the district loses experienced instructors, it gains young teachers who know the latest instructional strategies and technology becoming part of our classrooms.

"We find it's a good mix of experienced teachers and young instructors," Frutos noted.

Some of the well-known administrators calling it quits include Nogales High principal Nancy Padilla. Since taking over the reins at the high school in May 2006, Padilla has worked hard to raise expectations and performance at the local high school.

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