Morenci, Hudson agree to shared superintendent 04.14.10

Written by David Green.

By DAVID GREEN

It didn’t take the Morenci Board of Education long to make its decision: Dr. Michael Osborne now belongs to Morenci, as well as Hudson.mike.osborne.jpg

The Hudson board voted 6-1 Monday night to join with Morenci in a shared superintendent agreement. One board member cast a “no” vote, claiming the process was rushed.

Morenci board members also voted Monday and unanimously approved a contract.

The new arrangement was to take effect the next day and Osborne spent his first day in Morenci Tuesday (yesterday).

The contract that each board signed calls for Osborne to serve both schools through the end of the 2010-11 school year, at which time the arrangement will be evaluated. Neither district has the right to opt out of the agreement during the initial contract.

Osborne will spend two days a week in Hudson and two in Morenci, on the average. The fifth day of the week will alternate between the two districts.

Osborne noted the state is going through one of the most challenging periods of time in many years, and unfortunately, one of the most difficult years is approaching.

“I really applaud both school boards for even being willing to consider this,” he said. “We do hope it’s the right thing to do.”

Both boards realize how important school districts are to a community, he said. The sharing plan will save money, benefit the schools and keep the identity of both districts.

He praised the collaborative effort between the two schools.

“I’m really excited about this opportunity to work more closely with Morenci’s board,” he said. “There’s a lot of work to do and tomorrow morning we’re going to get started on that right away.”

Osborne praised the efforts of Morenci’s high school principal Nate Parker who served in that role as well as taking on extra duties as interim superintendent.

Morenci board member Dwight Mansfield said he’s talked to a lot of people in the Hudson area and he’s heard nothing but complimentary remarks about Dr. Osborne.

“We’re privileged and fortunate to have you here with us,” he said.

Mansfield looks forward to continuing work with Hudson for other collaborative efforts.

Audience member and teacher Sally Kruger thanked the board for its actions.

“I want to commend you for being creative in your thinking and being open-minded,” she said.

She also praised how the entire process was carried out in an open manner.

“I think we’ve started something,” said board member Phil McCaskey. “I think others were just waiting for someone else to do it.”

Since the discussion between Morenci and Hudson got underway in February, several other districts have discussed making changes, he said.

LAWN BID—Morenci board members voted to award the school’s lawn care bid to T&R Total Lawn Care of Morenci. The two-year pact goes through March 31, 2012.

Board president Scott Merillat thanked T&R owner Micah Borton for his assistance with maintenance needs on short notice.

Merillat noted that Morenci and Hudson worked together on the bid process but decided to hire separate lawn care firms.

Osborne saw this as a positive step, showing that the boards can work together but still maintain independence.

  • Homecoming Court
    HOMECOMING—One senior candidate will be chosen Morenci’s fall homecoming queen during half-time ceremonies Friday at the football field. In the back row are seniors Mikayla Price, who will be escorted by Mason Vaughn; Madison Bachman, escorted by Kiegan Merillat, and Mikayla Reinke, escorted by Griffin Grieder. Senior Ariana Roseman is absent from the photo. Her escort is Garrett Smith. In the front is sophomore Abbie White, who will be escorted by Ryder Price; junior Madysen Schmitz, escorted by Harley McCaskey and freshman Madison Keller, escorted by Jarett Cook.
  • Front.cross
    HUDSON RUNNER Jacob Morgan looks toward the top of the hill with dismay during the tough finish at Harrison Lake State Park. Fayette runner Jacob Garrow focuses on the summit, also, during the Eagle Invitational cross country run Saturday morning. Continuing rain and drizzle made the course even more challenging. Results of the race are in this week’s Observer.
  • Front.bear
    HOLDEN HUTCHISON gives a hug to a black bear cub—the product of a taxidermist’s skills—at the Michigan DNR’s Great Youth Jamboree. The event on Sunday marked the fourth year of the Jamboree. Additional photos are on page 12.
  • Front.crossing
    Crossing over—Jim Heiney was given a U.S. flag to carry by George Vereecke (behind Jim in the hat), turning him into the leader of the parade. Bridge Walk participants cross over Bean Creek while, in the background, members of the Morenci Legion Riders cross the main traffic bridge on East Street South. Additional photos appear on the back page of this week’s Observer.
  • Front.hose Testing
    HOSE safety—The FireCatt hose testing company from Troy put Morenci Fire Department hose to the test Monday morning when Mill Street was closed to traffic. The company also checks nozzles and ladders for wear in an effort to keep fire fighters safe while on calls.
  • 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.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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