Nate Parker to serve as interim superintendent 02.10.10

Written by David Green.

Morenci Area Schools has a new interim superintendent in place, and school board members didn’t have to go far to find a replacement.

The board voted unanimously at special meeting Monday night to appoint high school principal Nate Parker to the interim post through June 30, the end of the current school year.

After the meeting, board president Scott Merillat appointed an ad hoc advisory committee to look at options for the future. In addition to the superintendent position, Merillat said other administrative posts may be opening.

“We’ll start looking at how we’re going to align the administrative positions going forward,” he said, noting that Parker is not interested in taking the superintendent job permanently.

Board members Dwight Mansfield and Carrie Dillon will join Merillat on the committee.

Parker currently serves as Spanish teacher in the mornings and high school principal in the afternoons. A permanent substitute will be hired to take over his Spanish classes for the remainder of the school year.

The board emerged from a closed session—discussing contractual issues related to the previous superintendent—to discuss the interim superintendent job. Merillat asked for discussion and Mansfield nominated Parker for the job. After a second by Gary Ries, Merillat asked for discussion, heard none and the vote was taken.

Merillat said the board expects Parker to receive collaborative assistance from middle school principal Kay Johnson, elementary dean of students Mary Fisher and district finance director Erica Metcalf. All of the other administrators said they were willing to help where needed.

Retired Morenci administrator Ron Merillat attended the meeting and has offered assistance to the administration.

The board also accepted the resignation of former superintendent Kyle Griffith, effective Feb. 8. Griffith is developing the new Jackson Community College/LISD High School Academy program and will serve as principal.

  • Front.splash
    Water Fun—Carter Seitz and Colson Walter take a fast trip along a plastic sliding strip while water from a sprinkler provides the lubrication. The boys took a break from tie-dyeing last week at Morenci’s Summer Recreation Program to cool off in the water.
  • Front.starting
    BIKE-A-THON—Children in Morenci’s Summer Recreation Program brought their bikes last Tuesday to participate in a bike-a-thon. Riders await the start of the event at the elementary school before being led on a course through town by organizer Leonie Leahy.
  • Front.drum
    on your mark, get set, drum!—Drew Joughin (black shirt), Maddox Joughin and Kaleea Braun took the front row last week when Angela Rettle and assistants led the Stair District Library Summer Reading Program kids in a session of cardio drumming. The sports and healthy living theme continued yesterday with a Mini Jamboree at Lake Hudson State Park arranged by the Michigan Department of Natural Resources. Next week’s program features the Flying Aces Frisbee show.
  • Front.art.park
    ART PARK—A design created by Poggemeyer Design Group shows a “pocket art park” in the green space south of the State Line Observer building. The proposal includes a 12-foot sculpture based on a design created by Morenci sixth grade student Klara Wesley through a school and library collaboration. A wooden band shell is located at the back of the lot. The Observer wall would be covered with a synthetic stucco material. City council members are considering ways to fund the estimated $125,000 project and perhaps tackling construction one step at a time.
  • 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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