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 [email protected]

State Rep. Dudley Spade can be reached by calling 517/373-1706 or writing to [email protected]

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.nok Hok
    GAMES DAY—Finn Molitierno (right) celebrates a goal during a game of Nok Hockey with his sister, Kyla. The two tried out a variety of games Saturday at Stair District Library’s annual International Games Day event. One of the activities featured a sort of scavenger hunt in which participants had to locate facts presented in the Smithsonian Hometown Teams exhibit. The traveling show left Morenci’s library Tuesday, wrapping up a series of programs that began Oct. 2. Additional photos are on page 7.
  • Station.2
    STRANGE STUFF—Morenci Elementary School students learn that blue isn’t really blue when seen through the right color of lens. Volunteer April Pike presents the lesson to students at one of the many stations brought to the school by the COSI science center. The theme of this year’s visit was the solar system.
  • Front.leaves
    MAPLE leaves show their fall colors in a puddle at Morenci’s Riverside Natural Area. “This was a great year for colors,” said local weather watcher George Isobar. Chilly mornings will give way to seasonable fall temperatures for the next two weeks.
  • Front.band
    MORENCI Marching Band member Brittany Dennis keeps the beat Friday during the half-time show of the Morenci/Pittsford football game. Color guard member Jordan Cordts is at the left. The band performed this season under the direction of Doyle Rodenbeck who served as Morenci’s band director in the 1970s. He’s serving as a substitute during a family leave.
  • 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.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.

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