Morenci, Hudson agree to shared superintendent 04.14.10

Written 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.

  • Front.poles
    MOVING EAST—Utility workers continue their slow progress east along U.S. 20 south of Morenci. New electrical poles are put in place before wiring is moved into place.
  • Front.cowboy
    A PERFORMER named Biligbaatar, a member of the AnDa Union troupe from Inner Mongolia, dances at Stair District Library last week during a visit to the Midwest. The nine-member group blends a variety of traditions from Inner and Outer Mongolia. The music is described as drawing from “all the Mongol tribes that Genghis Khan unified.” The group considers itself music gatherers whose goal is to preserve traditional sounds of Mongolia. Biligbaatar grew up among traditional herders who live in yurts. Additional photos are on the back page of this week’s Observer.
  • Front.base Ball
    UMPIRE Thomas Henthorn tosses the bat between team captains Mikayla Price and Chuck Piskoti of Flint’s Lumber City Base Ball Club. Following the 1860 rules, after the bat was grabbed by the captains, captains’ hands advanced to the top of the bat—one hand on top of the other. The captain whose hand ended up on top decided who would bat first. Additional photos of Sunday’s game appear on page 12 of this week’s Observer. The contest was organized in conjunction with Stair District Library’s Hometown Teams exhibit that runs through Nov. 20.
    VALUE OF ATHLETICS—Morenci graduate John Bancroft (center) takes a turn at the microphone during a chat session at the opening of the Hometown Teams exhibit at Stair District Library. Clockwise to his left is John Dillon, Jed Hall, Jim Bauer, Joe Farquhar, George Hollstein, George Vereecke and Mike McDowell. Thomas Henthorn (at the podium) kicked off the conversation. Henthorn, a University of Michigan–Flint professor, will return to Morenci this Sunday to lead a game of vintage base ball at the school softball field.
  • 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.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.

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