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

  • 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.carry.casket
    CARRYING—Riley Terry (blue jacket) and Mason Vaughn lead the way, carrying an empty casket outside to the hearse waiting at the curb. Morenci juniors and seniors visited Eagle Funeral Home last week to learn about the role of a funeral director and to understand the process of arranging for a funeral.
  • 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.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.
  • Front.F.office
    NEW OFFICES—Fayette village administrator Steve Blue speaks with tax administrator Genna Biddix at the new front desk of the village office. Village council members voted to use budgeted renovation funds targeted for the old office and instead buy the vacant bank building on the corner of Main and Fayette streets. The old office was sold to Sherwood State Bank. When everything is put into place in the spacious new village office, an open house will be scheduled. Council member David Wheeler donated all of his time needed to make changes in the bank interior to fit the Village’s needs.

Keith Filipek talks about value of music program 12.09

Written by David Green.

By DAVID GREEN

Don’t tell Keith Filipek that music is just something extra in the school curriculum. In his opinion, it’s a key part of a well-rounded program.

“People often look at music, art and physical education as extras that are just there for fun,” Mr. Filipek told Morenci Board of Education members Dec. 7. “I disagree. They’re essential to the academic program.”

Mr. Filipek presented the monthly “educational topic” at the last school board meeting. Each month a facet of the school program is highlighted.

Mr. Filipek said a course in his graduate studies made him stop and think about his role as a music teacher.

“I’ve been teaching for 20 years, but never took the time to think about why I do what I do,” he said.

When a student learns to read, he said, pitch, inflection, etc., are part of the process, and those are all musical attributes, also.

Mr. Filipek told about studies showing that   for standardized tests, schools with good music programs outperform those with a weak program. English and mathematical skills also improve, he said, due to a boost in IQ gained through musical skills.

Studies have also shown an increase in self-esteem and self-confidence, and students show a greater tolerance for differences. In addition, students showed better classroom behavior and were less disruptive.

“I think it’s all about discipline,” Mr. Filipek said, “similar to athletics.”

The word “quality” is the key, said Morenci Superintendent of Schools Kyle Griffith.

“At Morenci we have a quality music program from kindergarten to 12th grade,” he said.

Griffith mentioned that a Morenci Education Foundation mini-grant will fund the production of “Annie Jr.,” a musical involving students in grades three to nine. Mr. Filipek will direct the production later in the school year.

Mr. Filipek introduced his talk by recalling the argumentative school board in the musical, “The Music Man.” Once the board members learned to sing together, Mr. Filipek said, they all got along well.

At that point he passed out song sheets to the board and audience, brought them all to their feet and led everyone in song.

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