Christopher Hasebrook will replace Wayne Harvey as director of the Linworth Alternative Program.

Christopher Hasebrook will replace Wayne Harvey as director of the Linworth Alternative Program.

Hasebrook, an English and speech teacher at the high school for the past 24 years, was hired by the Worthington Board of Education March 26.

There was a large pool of candidates for the job, but Hasebrook is the right person to take over for Harvey, who will retire after 21 years as the school's leader, said board member David Bressman.

"He will have some big Birkenstocks to fill," Bressman said.

Board member Julie Keegan said she is pleased with the choice of Hasebrook.

"The kids love you, the families love you, and we know you'll do a great job," she said.

Hasebrook's son graduated from Linworth, and his daughter is a senior currently on Walkabout.

Founded in the 1970s, Linworth is an experiential school where students are involved in making decisions about how the school is run. Seniors spend second semester on Walkabout, where they immerse themselves in other cultures and workplaces.

The key to the school's success is the relationships among students and teachers, Hasebrook said. Being close to teachers helps both students who are struggling and those who are excelling, he said.

Hasebrook will continue to teach as well as fulfill the duties of director. His salary will be $99,235.

The board also accepted the resignations and retirements of several long-time employees.

Some choked back tears as they accepted the disability retirement of Tracy DeMatteo, the director of financial operations.

For half of the 10 years she has been with the district, DeMatteo has had recurring cancer.

"She has shown such grace and dignity in fighting this disease," said board member Marc Schare.

He thanked her for always having answers to his many questions about district finances.

In 2007, she stepped in as interim board treasurer and helped the board find and hire Jeff McCuen.

McCuen said DeMatteo is a top-notch professional who is "a torch-carrier for our profession."

Thomas Cusick will be the new director of financial operations.

Other retirements accepted on Monday were:

• James Baker, Liberty Elementary principal, who has been with the district 39 years.

• Jane Debrosse, Thomas Worthington High School (TWHS) social studies teacher.

• Victoria Frost, Worthington Hills Elementary kindergarten teacher.

• Kim Hanlin, business teacher/activities director at TWHS.

• Leah Gerard, early education of the handicapped teacher at Sutter Park Preschool.

• Lori Phillips, English teacher at McCord Middle School.