The Weekly Newspaper serving the citizens of Morenci, Mich., Fayette, Ohio, and surrounding areas.

  • Front.cheers
    MACEE BEERS joins other Fayette Elementary School students for the annual Mini-Cheer performance during the half-time break at the basketball game.
  • Family.3.wide
    CHILDREN at Stair District Library’s Family Story Time toss scarves into the air during an activity. The evening program provided a mix of stories, songs, dancing, crafts and snacks Monday evening. The program is offered at 5:30 p.m. every Monday for five more weeks. The program is designed for three to five year olds and their family.
  • Front.newpaper.2
    THE INTERVIEW—Evelyn Joughin (right) records the interaction with an iPad while Jack Varga, next to her, asks questions of Morenci Elementary School principal Gail Frey. Morenci senior Sam Cool (standing) listens. Cool serves as the editor for the newspaper written by members of Mrs. Barrett’s second grade class.
  • Front.code.2
    WRITING CODE—Brock Christle (left), a Morenci fifth grade student, takes a look at the progress being made by fourth grader Anthony Lewis. Libby Rorick, a sixth grade student, is next in a line of girls trying out the coding tutorials. This year marked Morenci’s second year of participation in the Hour of Code project.
  • Front.gym.new
    REMIE RYAN (left) tries to dodge the foam wand held by Hayden Bays during physical education class at Morenci Elementary School. In the background, Lauryn Dominique and Brooklyn Williams stay clear of the tag. Second grade students were working on cardiovascular health on the first day back from vacation. For the record, Safety Tag is a very difficult sport to photograph.
  • Front.lift
    MORENCI student Dalton McCowan puts everything into a dead lift attempt Saturday morning during the Wyseguy Push/Pull event. Lifters helped raise more than $1,600 for the family of the late Devin Wyse, a former Morenci power-lifter who graduated last year. Commemorative T-shirts are still available by contacting teacher Dan Hoffman.
  • Front.library.books
    MACK DICKSON takes a book off the “blind date” cart at the Fayette library. Patrons can choose a book without knowing what’s inside other than a general category. The books are among those designated for removal so patrons can consider them gifts. In Morenci, new books and staff favorites were chosen from the stacks and must be returned. Patrons get a piece of chocolate, too, to take on their date, but no clue about their “date.” One reader said she really enjoyed her book for a few pages, but then lost interest—so typical for a blind date.

Russell Griggs chosen Fayette Citizen of the Year 2011.11.02

Written by David Green.

russ.griggsBy DAVID GREEN

Fayette’s Citizen of the Year choice followed some familiar territory this year while at the same time veering off into a new direction.

Many people employed by the school district have been honored as Citizen of the Year since the program began in 1968, but this is the first year the honor was presented to a citizen who doesn’t live in Fayette.

Fayette Local Schools superintendent Russell Griggs was honored Thursday at a Fayette Area Chamber of Commerce dinner at the high school.

Chamber president Trevor Hibbard reviewed Griggs’ career in education—now with superintendent experience in five school districts—and he counted down his top-10 list of reasons for honoring Griggs.

10. Forward thinker. 9. Leadership skills. 8. Reasonable. 7. Personality. 6. Intelligence. 5. Involved. 4. Budgeting experience. 3. The wind turbine. 2. Thoughtfulness. 1. He’s all we could afford.

Chamber member Tom Spiess spoke about the process of choosing a Citizen of the Year and noted that some cynics think the net cast for candidates is too small.

“Most of us, when made aware of who has been recognized as Citizen of the Year, have one of those epiphany moments,” Spiess said. “The lights go on and we say, ‘Oh yeah, that makes a lot of sense.’”

Spiess took Hibbard’s suggestion to focus on the connection between the school and community and he gave a brief history of education in the area. The late 1960s, for example, was the era of consolidation when the Lyons Lions, Fulton Raiders, Chesterfield Comets and the Metamora Tigers all became the Evergreen Vikings. That resulted in the loss of four old rivals for Fayette through the creation of one much larger school.

Spiess named former Citizens of the Year who were connected with the school, including superintendent Gaylord Parsons and his wife Joyce, bus driver Dick Whaley, bus mechanic Charlie Climo, superintendent Joe Long, custodian and fire chief Tom Franks, study hall monitor Ruth Hutchison, school board member Robert Nyce, elementary school principal John Winzeler, teacher Debbie Hatcliff and her husband Winston. Each of them was also very much involved in community events.

“And then there’s Russ,” Spiess said. “Well, he is different. He doesn’t live in the community, but he has proven to be a real advocate for the school and the community that supports it.”

The school’s wind turbine is a testament to Griggs, he said, and his ”tenacious support” of the project is impressive.

“Russ, you join a group of people who are loyal to this place, its history and traditions,” Spiess said.

Griggs thanked those in the audience for attending the dinner and he congratulated the former recipients of the award.

“Fayette is a wonderful community and a wonderful school district,” Griggs said. “That’s why I appreciate my association with the district.”

Griggs said that his work with Fayette is marked by a very supportive board of education, a wonderful staff, and students who have rated excellent the last three out of four years.

“There is a lot to be thankful for here in Fayette,” he concluded.

– Karen King contributed to this report

Weekly newspaper serving SE Michigan and NW Ohio - State Line Observer ©2006-2016