Morenci school board 07.14.2010

Written by David Green.

By DAVID GREEN

All of the laid-off staff members are returning to Morenci classrooms in September, but one administrator will be missing.

Middle school principal Kay Johnson had decided not to return to her administrative post, however, she intends to continue as softball coach.

Johnson served as a physical education teacher for most of her lengthy career with Morenci schools but was appointed interim middle school principal in 1995.

She retired in 2007 after 35 years with the district, but was immediately rehired to continue serving as principal.

High school principal Nate Parker will take on a new role as principal for both schools, covering grades five through 12, but he will have some help.

“We’re looking at what additional staff will be needed,” said superintendent Michael Osborne.

The district is still without an athletic director and an assistant principal job could be tied in with that position, Osborne said. Administrators will continue to explore options while cutting costs through the change in principal duties.

Sixteen staff members received layoff notices in April, but all were recalled at the  school board meeting Monday.

The board voted to recall teachers Jesse Bach, Matt Bostick, Kelly Bush, Jamie DeVoe, Keith Filipek, Paula Grieder, Ashley Joughin and Chris Mansfield; paraprofessionals Lisa Acuña, Heather Dilworth, Amy Schmidt and Brandon VanEtten; cooks Rebecca Davis and Ronda McCaskey; and bus drivers Gwenda Eichler and April Shaffer.

“We know who we will start the year with,” Osborne said, but that doesn’t mean cuts won’t follow.

When enrollment dropped more than expected last September, staff reductions were made in late November at the end of the first trimester.

Osborne said his goal is always to make staff adjustments during the summer and avoid cuts once school is underway, but state aid reductions and enrollment changes don’t always allow that.

OFFICERS—School board officers will remain the same for the next year: Scott Merillat, president; Carrie Dillon, vice president; Cyndee Sanders, secretary; Gary Ries, treasurer.

Committee assignments are: Dillon and Ivy Hutchison, curriculum; Phil McCaskey and Dillon, building and site; Dwight Mansfield and Ries, finance; Sanders and McCaskey, personnel.

The board will continue to meet at 7 p.m. on the first Monday of the month with three exceptions. Meetings are scheduled Sept. 13, Jan. 10 and April 11.

COACH—Shana Love was approved as JV volleyball coach for the 2010-11 school year.

POLICIES—Merillat suggested appointing a policy review committee at the next board meeting.

“Some of our current policies we aren’t following,” he said, and the board needs to decide which ones it wants to retain or change.

  • 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.splash
    Water Fun—Carter Seitz and Colson Walter take a fast trip along a plastic sliding strip while water from a sprinkler provides the lubrication. The boys took a break from tie-dyeing last week at Morenci’s Summer Recreation Program to cool off in the water.
  • 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.drum
    on your mark, get set, drum!—Drew Joughin (black shirt), Maddox Joughin and Kaleea Braun took the front row last week when Angela Rettle and assistants led the Stair District Library Summer Reading Program kids in a session of cardio drumming. The sports and healthy living theme continued yesterday with a Mini Jamboree at Lake Hudson State Park arranged by the Michigan Department of Natural Resources. Next week’s program features the Flying Aces Frisbee show.
  • 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

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