As they do every year, the Hesperia Unified School District honored the employees retiring at the end of the school year at Monday's school board meeting.


Twenty-three employees are retiring at the end of the 2008-2009 school board meeting, including Dona Babcock, Judith Cresswell, Jemmie Crosby, Joyce Doig, Deborah Ebert, Dennis Ebert, Arlene Gluck, Gary Goodell, Eunice Greenough, Candice Juarez, Mike Kirkham, Russell Kovar, Nancy McHenry, Janet Montoya, Diana Pruiett, Richard Stuelke, Blair Thompson, Angelina Walker, Barbara Ward-Lawe, Raymond Weaver, Jr., Michael Whitton, Bryan Wilkins and Sue Yarbrough.


In some cases, the retirees' departure saved the school district from laying off another employee. Due to state budget cuts -- Average Daily Attendance payments from the state make up 73 percent of the HUSD's general operating fund -- the district is laying off 27 non-teacher staff, 183 teachers and 17 principals and district office managers.


The HUSD is the Victor Valley's largest single employer, employing approximately 2,000 employees.


The next meeting of the HUSD school board will be held on June 8, 2009, at 6 p.m. in the HUSD Educational Support Center Annex, 15576 Main Street.


Beau Yarbrough can be reached at 956-7108 or at beau@hesperiastar.com.