School begins Tuesday for Morenci students 8.27

Written by David Green.

With the Labor Day holiday coming up this weekend, all Michigan school districts will welcome students back to the classroom next week.

Morenci classes will begin at 7:50 a.m. Tuesday, Sept. 2.

HIGH SCHOOL—The biggest changes are the at high school with three new teachers.

Two years ago the high school switched to a trimester system, said principal Nate Parker, and last year brought curriculum changes due to new state graduation requirements. This year, he said, new teachers mark the change, with veterans Char-Lene Wilkins and Amy Philp retiring and Kim Mohr moving to the middle school.

Brandi Boswell will teach tenth and twelfth grade English classes. Twelfth grade English is a new class offered to meet state standards and will replace electives such as mythology.

Barb Bernath is serving as a part-time teacher, with classes in ninth and eleventh grade English and a new social studies class, global issues.

Jason Austgen joins the school district to teach science classes and algebra II.

Agriculture classes are not on the schedule this year, Parker said, after one class was scheduled each trimester last year.

That doesn’t mean students won’t have the opportunity to take part in FFA activities. Although LISD Tech Center classes are offered only to juniors and seniors, any high school student can enroll in an ag science course taught one night a week at the center and this will allow participation in the Tech Center’s FFA chapter.

For more information, call the high school office at 458-7502.

Morenci started using the Honeywell Instant Alert system during the last school year, but a new feature will be added for the coming school year.

If requested, parents can be alerted any time their student is not in school.

To take advantage of the alert, Parker said, a parent must make the request on-line at the Honeywell Instant Alert website.

Notification of an absence, or other messages such as school delays and sports event cancelations, can be sent to a parent’s telephone or computer.

High school students are encouraged to pick up their schedules at the school office before Sept. 2.

MIDDLE SCHOOL—Middle school class schedules are also available before the start of school, between 8 a.m. and 3:30 p.m.

Orientation for fifth graders and other students new to Morenci Middle School is scheduled at 6 p.m. Thursday.

Principal Kay Johnson has given a lot of building tours in recent days. So far, there are 22 children enrolled who are new to Morenci schools. An average year is closer to 15, she said.

Morenci’s sixth and eighth grade students will have mathematics classes with Kim Mohr who formerly worked at the high school. Mike McDowell, who retired last June, has agreed to come back to teach seventh grade mathematics on a part-time basis.

Before too long into the new school year, Morenci’s fifth grade class will travel to Camp Mich-Ind-Oh for the annual camping experience. This year’s camp is scheduled Sept. 9-12.

ELEMENTARY SCHOOL—At the elementary school, students will soon meet a new music teacher, Keith Filipek, who replaces the retiring KC Carter.

School information packets are available at the elementary office, but they must be picked up by a parent or an adult representative.

Information forms should be returned to the school no later than the first day of classes.

An open house is planned at 10 a.m. Thursday for developmental kindergarten and kindergarten students. Completed documents for enrollment should be returned at the open house.

All other students and parents are invited to an open house from 5:30 to 6:30 p.m. Thursday. It’s also a chance for students to bring in school supplies and turn in registration information.

HEAD START—For information about the Head Start classroom at Morenci Elementary School, call 517/263-1118.

The federal program is free for families who meet income eligibility. Students must be at least three years old by Dec. 1.

  • Front.train
    WRECKAGE—Morenci Fire Department member Taylor Schisler walks past the smoking wreckage of a semi-truck tractor on the north side of the Norfolk and Southern Railroad tracks on Ranger Highway. The truck trailer was on the south side of the tracks
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    SCULPTORS—Morenci third grade students Emersyn Thompson (left) and Marissa Lawrence turn spaghetti sticks into mini sculptures Friday during a class visit to Stair District Library. All Morenci Elementary School classes recently visited the library to experience the creative construction toys purchased through the “Sculptamania!” project, funded by a Disney Curiosity Creates grant. The grant is administered by the Association for Library Services to Children, a division of the American Library Association.
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    LEONIE LEAHY was one of three local hair stylists who volunteered time Friday at the Morenci PTO Fun Night. Her customer, Aubrey Sandusky, looks up at her mother while her hair takes on a perfect match to her outfit. Leahy said she had a great time at the event—nothing but happy clients.
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    LEARNING THE ROPES—Kristy Castillo (left), co-owner of Mane Street Salon, works with Kendal Kuhn as Sierra Orner takes a phone call. The two Morenci Area High School juniors spent Friday at the salon as part of a job shadowing experience.
  • KayseInField
    IN THE FIELD—2004 Morenci graduate Kayse Onweller works in a test plot of wheat in Texas. She’s part of Bayer CropScience’s North American wheat breeding program based in Nebraska, where she completed post-graduate work in plant breeding and genetics.
  • Front.winner
    REFEREE Camden Miller raises the hand of Morenci Jr. Dawgs wrestler Ryder Ryan as his opponent leaves the mat in disappointment. Morenci’s youth wrestling program served as host for a tournament Saturday morning to raise money for the club. Additional photos are on the back page.
  • Front.bank.2
    SHERWOOD STATE Bank opened its Fayette office at a grand opening Friday morning, drawing a large crowd to view the renovated building. Above, Burt Blue talks to teller Cindy Funk, while his wife, Jackie, looks around the new office. The Blues missed the opening and took a quick tour on Tuesday. Few traces remain of the former grocery store and theater, however, part of the original brick wall still shows in the hallway leading to the back of the building. The drive-through window should be ready for customers later in the month.
  • Front.make.three
    FROM THE LEFT, Landon Wilkins, Ryan White and Logan Blaker try out their artistic skills Saturday afternoon at the Morenci PTO’s first Date to Create event. More than 50 people showed up to create decorated planks of wood to hang from rope. The event served as a fund-raiser for miscellaneous PTO projects. Additional photos are on the back of this week’s Observer.

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