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

  • Snow.2
    FIRST SNOW—Heavy, wet flakes piled deep on tree branches—and windshields—as the area received its first significant snowfall of the season. “Usually it begins with a dusting or two,” said George Isobar, Morenci’s observer for the National Weather Service, “but this time it came with a vengeance.” By the end of the day Saturday, a little over four inches of snow was on the ground. Now comes the thaw with temperatures in the 40s and 50s for three days.
  • Front.sculpt
    SKEWERS, gumdrops, and marshmallows are all that’s needed to create interesting shapes and designs for Layla McDowell Saturday at Stair District Library’s “Sculptamania!” Open House. The program featuring design games and materials is one part of a larger project funded by a $7,500 Curiosity Creates grant from Disney and the American Library Association. Additional photos are on page 7.
    Morenci marching band members took to the field Friday night dressed for Halloween during the Bulldog’s first playoff game. Morenci fans had a bit of a scare until the fourth quarter when the Bulldogs scored 30 points to leave Lenawee Christian School behind. Whiteford visits Morenci this Friday for the district championship game. From the left is Clayton Borton, Morgan Merillat and James O’Brien.
    DNA PUZZLE—Mitchell Storrs and Wyatt Mohr tackle a puzzle representing the structure of DNA. There’s only one correct way for all the pieces to fit. It’s one of the new materials that can be used in both biology and chemistry classes, said teacher Loretta Cox.
  • Front.tar.wide
    A TRAFFIC control worker stands in the middle of Morenci’s Main Street Tuesday morning, waiting for the next flow of vehicles to be let through from the west. The dusty gravel surface was sealed with a layer of tar, leaving only the application of paint for new striping. The project was completed in conjunction with county road commission work west of Morenci.
  • Front.pull
    JUNIORS Jazmin Smith and Trevor Corkle struggle against a team from the sophomore class Friday during the annual tug of war at the Homecoming Games pep rally. Even the seniors struggled against the sophomores who won the competition. At the main course of the day, the Bulldog football team struggled against Whiteford in a homecoming loss.
    YOUNG soccer players surived a chilly morning Saturday in Morenci’s PTO league. From the left is Emma Cordts, Wayne Corser, Carter and Levi Seitz, Briella York and Drew Joughin. Two more weeks of soccer remain for this season.
  • Front.ropes
    BOWEN BAUMGARTNER of Morenci makes his way across a rope bridge constructed by the Tecumseh Boy Scout troop Sunday at Lake Hudson Recreation Area. The bridge was one of many challenges, displays and games set up for the annual Youth Jamboree by the Michigan DNR. Additional photos on are the back page of this week’s Observer.
  • Front.homecoming Court
    One of four senior candidates will be crowned the fall homecoming queen during half-time of this week’s Morenci-Whiteford football game. In the back row (left to right) is exchange student Kinga Vidor (her escort will be Caylob Alcock), seniors Alli VanBrandt (escorted by Sam Cool), Larissa Elliott (escorted by Clayton Borton), Samantha Wright (escorted by JJ Elarton) and Justis McCowan (escorted by Austin Gilson), and exchange student Rebecca Rosenberger (escorted by Garrett Smith). Front row freshman court member Allie Kaiser (escorted by Anthony Thomas), sophomore Marlee Blaker (escorted by Nate Elarton) and junior Cheyenne Stone (escorted by Dominick Sell).
  • Front.park.lights
    GETTING READY—Jerad Gleckler pounds nails to secure a string of holiday lights on the side of the Wakefield Park concession stand while other members of the Volunteer Club and others hold them in place. The volunteers showed up Sunday afternoon to string lights at the park. The decorating project will continue this Sunday. Denise Walsh is in charge of the effort this year.
  • Front.homecoming Court
  • Cheer
  • Front.park.lights
  • Front.pull
  • Front.ropes
  • Front.sculpt
  • Front.tar.wide
  • Front.toss
  • Front.walk Across

Kyle Griffith leaving Morenci schools 02.03.10

Written by David Green.


A new alternative high school program through the Lenawee Intermediate School District (LISD) has consequences for the Morenci school district.

Superintendent of Schools Kyle Griffith announced Monday in a closed session of the board of education that he’s leaving his job here to become principal of the new school, the JCC/LISD High School Academy.

The collaboration between Jackson Community College and the LISD will open in September. Completion of the five-year program—blending high school and college courses—leads to an associate’s degree from the JCC.

Griffith will work as the program director until the fall when he’ll assume the duties of principal. He will even teach a few classes at the new school, as he did here in the first seven years of his 18-year career.

The Morenci Board of Education discussed the issue Monday night after Griffith’s announcement and decided to sever ties immediately. Tuesday was Griffith’s final day with the Morenci school district.

LISD superintendent Steve Krusich said Monday afternoon there is an enormous amount of planning ahead and he was looking for Griffith to begin as soon as possible.

The county’s superintendents have discussed the program during recent months, Krusich said, and he noted Griffith’s interest in the development of the school.

Once the principal position was advertised, a large number of applications arrived and Griffith’s was among them.

“We reviewed the applications and spoke only to Kyle,” Krusich said. The hiring committee decided it would be “wasting its time” to interview others.

The academy

Griffith describes the academy as a place to address the needs of many under-served students.

“It’s been an unmet need for a long time,” Krusich added.

He said many teachers have success at predicting whether or not an eighth grade student is going to be successful in high school.

It’s not a matter of intelligence, Krusich said. Some students are capable learners but not able to engage in a typical high school setting.

Those students may become moderate achievers, at best, he said, or in the worst case they’ll drop out of school. Success in the academy will lead to a high school diploma plus a two-year associate’s degree

“During the school day, students will be attending the academy on the Adrian campus of JCC,” Griffith said. “Having the program on the campus will be a key variable and has been one of the top priorities of other successful similar ‘middle college’ models nationwide.”

While attending the academy, students will be registered with their home district and will have the option of participating in any after-school activities such as athletics. Students are also able to graduate with their local high school.

Forty students will be admitted to the program this fall as freshmen, then another 40 freshmen will join the following year. Eventually, 200 students will be enrolled in the five-year program.

The program starts with all high school course for freshmen and gradually mixes in college work to become all college courses for the fifth year.

Life management skills will also be taught, Krusich said, such as responsibility, making decisions, being a good listener and financial management.

Prospective students should expect a rigorous entry process, he said, to assess whether or not a student really has the will and ability to be successful.

“I expect a high percentage to achieve their degree,” Krusich said.

For Griffith, the decision to take the job didn’t come easily.

“Although I am excited and honored to be selected to build the program, it also has been a difficult decision to make,” he said. “My entire educational career has been devoted to Morenci and I will truly miss many aspects of this school community.”

Weekly newspaper serving SE Michigan and NW Ohio - State Line Observer ©2006-2015