Ashland seeks schools help

Ashland School District is banking that volunteers will help fill gaps left by this spring's sweeping budget cuts.

Officials have created a new volunteer section on the district's Web site,, as they try to streamline the process and attract more unpaid assistants.

"It was a response to the budget reduction, and we were realizing one of the assets we have in this town is an incredibly capable and supportive community," said Michelle Zundel, who organized the effort as the district's director of education.

Due to the cuts, Zundel's position was eliminated and she was named principal of Bellview Elementary School for the coming year.

The district's $22 million budget for the coming school year is 14.8 percent lower than the 2008 school year's. In total, 56 positions were cut as the district grappled with declining state funds for education due to the recession.

The volunteer opportunities range from one-time chores, such as helping a teacher move into a classroom, to regular positions, such as tutoring elementary students in math.

To access the list, log on to the district's Web site and click on "Volunteer Opportunities." The site outlines the process of becoming a volunteer.

— Ashland Daily Tidings

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