Fayette Schools: Board makes a smart move 2013.03.13

Written by David Green.

With school funding sources always at a questionable state, it’s a bold move for Fayette superintendent Erik Belcher to suggest hiring a new administrator—and it’s a bold move by the board of education to support his plan.

It also seems like a really smart move.

The new job that will be filled by Gene Rupp is an important one, covering a wide variety of tasks that will benefit the district. Boosting gifted education opportunities, creating local work/study opportunities, seeking grants, overseeing on-line classes to create a “digital academy,” assisting with staff evaluations—they’re all important jobs that often get pushed aside by administrators due to other duties

Belcher’s goal is to make the new position pay for itself and we understand his concerns when he says that he’s both excited about the opportunities and nervous about the venture at the same time. It’s an excellent plan and it will soon be time to begin making it work.

It seems that Gene Rupp is a fine choice for filling the new position. He certainly has the experience to address the many facets of the plan and he has a student-centered educational philosophy that seems perfect for the job.

We suspect that many area districts will be watching Fayette’s venture to see how it plays out. It’s a smart, forward-looking plan and they’ll want to be in on the action, too.

  • Front.nok Hok
    GAMES DAY—Finn Molitierno (right) celebrates a goal during a game of Nok Hockey with his sister, Kyla. The two tried out a variety of games Saturday at Stair District Library’s annual International Games Day event. One of the activities featured a sort of scavenger hunt in which participants had to locate facts presented in the Smithsonian Hometown Teams exhibit. The traveling show left Morenci’s library Tuesday, wrapping up a series of programs that began Oct. 2. Additional photos are on page 7.
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    STRANGE STUFF—Morenci Elementary School students learn that blue isn’t really blue when seen through the right color of lens. Volunteer April Pike presents the lesson to students at one of the many stations brought to the school by the COSI science center. The theme of this year’s visit was the solar system.
  • Front.leaves
    MAPLE leaves show their fall colors in a puddle at Morenci’s Riverside Natural Area. “This was a great year for colors,” said local weather watcher George Isobar. Chilly mornings will give way to seasonable fall temperatures for the next two weeks.
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    MORENCI Marching Band member Brittany Dennis keeps the beat Friday during the half-time show of the Morenci/Pittsford football game. Color guard member Jordan Cordts is at the left. The band performed this season under the direction of Doyle Rodenbeck who served as Morenci’s band director in the 1970s. He’s serving as a substitute during a family leave.
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    MOVING EAST—Utility workers continue their slow progress east along U.S. 20 south of Morenci. New electrical poles are put in place before wiring is moved into place.
  • Front.cowboy
    A PERFORMER named Biligbaatar, a member of the AnDa Union troupe from Inner Mongolia, dances at Stair District Library last week during a visit to the Midwest. The nine-member group blends a variety of traditions from Inner and Outer Mongolia. The music is described as drawing from “all the Mongol tribes that Genghis Khan unified.” The group considers itself music gatherers whose goal is to preserve traditional sounds of Mongolia. Biligbaatar grew up among traditional herders who live in yurts. Additional photos are on the back page of this week’s Observer.
  • Front.bear
    HOLDEN HUTCHISON gives a hug to a black bear cub—the product of a taxidermist’s skills—at the Michigan DNR’s Great Youth Jamboree. The event on Sunday marked the fourth year of the Jamboree. Additional photos are on page 12.

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