Morenci school board 05.05.2010

Written by David Green.

Morenci Board of Education members hired varsity coaches Monday for the fall and winter season, but held off on the supporting coach staff until the June meeting.

Head coaches Tom Saylor (football), Tim Yatzek (girls basketball), Brad Brown (cross country), Dennis Owens (volleyball), Tim Bovee (boys basketball), Scott Clark (wrestling) and Jessica Taylor (competitive cheer) were unanimously hired for the next school year.

They will be consulted to make sure they’re “comfortable” with the other coaches in their sport before a hiring decision is made at the June 7 meeting.

Brandon Williams was approved as a volunteer assistant baseball coach for the season now underway.

LISD BUDGET—The Lenawee ISD seeks approval of its annual budget from local school boards. Morenci’s board gave its approval, but not without concerns expressed.

Superintendent Michael Osborne said he’s heard concerns expressed by other superintendents in the county. Many administrators believe the ISD has not made cuts to match the districts that it serves, Osborne said.

He’s heard it stated that the ISD’s healthy fund equity—much of it for future building projects—should be used to better support local district during tough financial times. As an example, the cost of services that the LISD provides to local schools could be lowered.

Teacher Sally Kruger noted that when she attends literacy meetings through the LISD, Morenci has to pay for a substitute teacher. That’s a cost the LISD could cover.

Osborne advised the board to approve the budget, but to express its concerns about LISD spending.

“Get specific,” he said. “Don’t just say that you need to make cuts.”

Over the next two months board members should become familiar with the budget and services offered and come up with specific questions and concerns to present to LISD board of education members.

FEDERAL FUNDS—The board approved a memorandum of understanding to support the state’s effort to win federal funds through the second round of the Race to the Top program.

By signing on to the program, Morenci would be qualified to receive funding if Michigan were selected, but the district would not be required to go along with the program.

Board president Scott Merillat noted the state legislature was able to quickly rush through the Race to the Top application, yet it takes months to come up with a state aid plan for local districts.

“We’re looking for leadership from legislators,” Osborne said. “If education is important, they’re going to have to show it.”

Board member Phil McCaskey urged district residents to contact legislators.

State Senator Cameron Brown can be reached by calling 517/373-5932 or writing to sencbrown@senate.michigan.gov.

State Rep. Dudley Spade can be reached by calling 517/373-1706 or writing to dspade@house.mi.gov.

TRANSITION—Supt. Osborne said Morenci’s school staff and community members have made for an easy transition to the shared superintendency with Hudson. He said he’s received a lot of support and he’s impressed as he continues to meet “great people in the right positions.”

HIGHLIGHTS—After hearing administrators present the highlights from their schools, Merillat stated that in spite of cuts, Morenci’s students continue to do well, both locally and in county-wide activities.

  • Front.fireworks
    FIREWORKS erupt Saturday night over Morenci’s Wakefield Park during the waning hours of the Town and Country Festival. Additional festival photos are inside.
  • Pipeline Spread
    LINED UP—Lengths of pipe were put in place last week along the route of the Rover natural gas pipeline that will stretch from Defiance, Ohio, to Ontario, Canada. Topsoil was removed before the pipes were laid out. The 42-inch diameter pipeline is scheduled for completion in November.
  • Front.grieders
    ONE-TWO PUNCH—Morenci’s Griffin Grieder saved his best for last, running his fastest time ever in the 110-meter high hurdles at the state finals Saturday in Grand Rapids to finish first in the state in Div. IV. His brother Luke, a junior (right), claimed the state runner-up spot. Bulldog junior Bailee Dominique placed seventh in the 100-meter dash.
  • Front.sidewalk
    MORENCI senior class president Mikayla Price leads the way Sunday afternoon from the Church of the Nazarene to the United Methodist Church for the baccalaureate ceremony. Later in the day, 39 members of the senior class received diplomas in the high school gymnasium.
  • Front.F.school
    PROGRESS continues on the agriculture classroom addition at Fayette High School. The project will add 2,900 square feet of space and include an overhead door that would allow equipment to be driven inside. The building should be ready for the start of school in August. Work on ball fields and a running track is also underway.
  • Front.teacher Leading
    PRESCHOOL MUSIC—Fayette band director Jeffrey Dunford spends the last half hour of the day leading the full-day preschool class in musical activities. Additional photos are on page 7 of this week’s Observer.
  • 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.
  • Face Paint
    FUN NIGHT FUN—Savanna Miles sits patiently while Abbie White works on a face paint design Friday during the Morenci PTO Fun Night. Gracie Snead watches the progress after having spent time in the chair. Abbie was one of several volunteer painters, each creating their own unique look. Additional photos are on the back page of this week’s Observer.

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