Fayette board turns down Fair Week proposal 11.21

Written by David Green.

In the future, Fulton County Fair week will not result in automatic vacation time for Gorham Fayette students.

School board members voted 3-2 Monday against a resolution stating that each year Gorham Fayette Local Schools will not be in session during Fulton County Fair week.

Board members Terry Kovar and Fred Stockburger voted in favor of the resolution while David Brinegar, Paula Schaffner and Kelly Bentley were opposed.

For the past three years, the board chose to give students three additional days off following the Labor Day holiday on Monday of fair week and the county-wide Jr. Fair Day vacation on Tuesday.

Teacher Suzette Boesger stated her opposition to the resolution prior to the vote. She said she was representing a majority of staff members.

“We don’t feel it’s a sound academic decision,” Boesger said.

She told board members that only about 10 percent of the student body is involved in 4-H and only about half of them need to miss school for 4-H fair duties.

She suggested that board members collect data about student involvement and make a decision about vacation time on a year-to-year basis rather than adopting a set policy as part of the regular school calendar.

Trustee Fred Stockburger said that if teachers are so concerned about missing school, they should be willing to lengthen the school day to match other districts in the area. Fayette’s abbreviated schedule results in eight days less instructional time, he said.

Boesger said staff members would be willing to consider a longer day during contractual talks, but that wasn’t part of the current discussion.

Audience member Kirk Keiser, recently elected as a board member, said he didn’t think the days off were a great benefit for the district overall.

Elementary school principal Dr. LuAnn Boyer agreed.

“We need to make every decision based on what’s best for the children,” she said.

Kindergarten teachers, in particular, consider the vacation a distraction when it arrives so soon after the start of school. She’s heard from parents, also, about the disruption to school routines that are just getting established.

In addition, she said, the break arrives when third grade students need to prepare for the annual achievement testing.

  • 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.base Ball
    UMPIRE Thomas Henthorn tosses the bat between team captains Mikayla Price and Chuck Piskoti of Flint’s Lumber City Base Ball Club. Following the 1860 rules, after the bat was grabbed by the captains, captains’ hands advanced to the top of the bat—one hand on top of the other. The captain whose hand ended up on top decided who would bat first. Additional photos of Sunday’s game appear on page 12 of this week’s Observer. The contest was organized in conjunction with Stair District Library’s Hometown Teams exhibit that runs through Nov. 20.
  • Front.chat
    VALUE OF ATHLETICS—Morenci graduate John Bancroft (center) takes a turn at the microphone during a chat session at the opening of the Hometown Teams exhibit at Stair District Library. Clockwise to his left is John Dillon, Jed Hall, Jim Bauer, Joe Farquhar, George Hollstein, George Vereecke and Mike McDowell. Thomas Henthorn (at the podium) kicked off the conversation. Henthorn, a University of Michigan–Flint professor, will return to Morenci this Sunday to lead a game of vintage base ball at the school softball field.
  • Front.cross
    HUDSON RUNNER Jacob Morgan looks toward the top of the hill with dismay during the tough finish at Harrison Lake State Park. Fayette runner Jacob Garrow focuses on the summit, also, during the Eagle Invitational cross country run Saturday morning. Continuing rain and drizzle made the course even more challenging. Results of the race are in 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.
  • Front.crossing
    Crossing over—Jim Heiney was given a U.S. flag to carry by George Vereecke (behind Jim in the hat), turning him into the leader of the parade. Bridge Walk participants cross over Bean Creek while, in the background, members of the Morenci Legion Riders cross the main traffic bridge on East Street South. Additional photos appear on the back page of this week’s Observer.
  • Front.hose Testing
    HOSE safety—The FireCatt hose testing company from Troy put Morenci Fire Department hose to the test Monday morning when Mill Street was closed to traffic. The company also checks nozzles and ladders for wear in an effort to keep fire fighters safe while on calls.

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