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.

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    LATEST CRAZE—David Cortes (left) and Ty Kruse, along with Jerred Heselschwerdt (standing), consult their smartphones while engaging in the game of Pokémon Go. The virtual scavenger hunt comes to life when players are in the vicinity of gyms, such as Stair District Library, and PokéStops such as the fire station across the street. The boys had spent time Monday morning searching for Pokémon at Wakefield Park.
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    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.
  • Girls.on.ride
    NADIYA YORK and Aniston Valentine take a spin on the Casino, one of the rides offered at Wakefield Park during Morenci’s Town and Country Festival. This year’s festival remained dry but with plenty of heat during the three-day run. Additional photographs are inside this week’s Observer.
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    Angela Davis (2) and teammate Allison VanBrandt break into a jig after Morenci's softball team won its third consecutive regional title.
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    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.
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    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
  • Funcolor
    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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    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.
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    BEVY OF BALLS—Stair District Library Summer Reading Program VolunTeens, including Libby Rorick, back left and Ty Kruse, back right, threw a dozen inflatable soccer balls into the crowd during a reading of “Sergio Saves the Game.” The sports-themed program continues on Wednesdays through July 27.
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