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.

  • 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.
  • Front.softball
    Angela Davis (2) and teammate Allison VanBrandt break into a jig after Morenci's softball team won its third consecutive regional title.
  • Front.art.park
    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.
  • 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
  • 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.
  • KayseInField
    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.
  • Front.soccer.balls
    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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