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.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
  • Front.sculpta
    SCULPTORS—Morenci third grade students Emersyn Thompson (left) and Marissa Lawrence turn spaghetti sticks into mini sculptures Friday during a class visit to Stair District Library. All Morenci Elementary School classes recently visited the library to experience the creative construction toys purchased through the “Sculptamania!” project, funded by a Disney Curiosity Creates grant. The grant is administered by the Association for Library Services to Children, a division of the American Library Association.
  • 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.
  • Shadow.salon
    LEARNING THE ROPES—Kristy Castillo (left), co-owner of Mane Street Salon, works with Kendal Kuhn as Sierra Orner takes a phone call. The two Morenci Area High School juniors spent Friday at the salon as part of a job shadowing experience.
  • 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.winner
    REFEREE Camden Miller raises the hand of Morenci Jr. Dawgs wrestler Ryder Ryan as his opponent leaves the mat in disappointment. Morenci’s youth wrestling program served as host for a tournament Saturday morning to raise money for the club. Additional photos are on the back page.
  • Front.bank.2
    SHERWOOD STATE Bank opened its Fayette office at a grand opening Friday morning, drawing a large crowd to view the renovated building. Above, Burt Blue talks to teller Cindy Funk, while his wife, Jackie, looks around the new office. The Blues missed the opening and took a quick tour on Tuesday. Few traces remain of the former grocery store and theater, however, part of the original brick wall still shows in the hallway leading to the back of the building. The drive-through window should be ready for customers later in the month.
  • Front.make.three
    FROM THE LEFT, Landon Wilkins, Ryan White and Logan Blaker try out their artistic skills Saturday afternoon at the Morenci PTO’s first Date to Create event. More than 50 people showed up to create decorated planks of wood to hang from rope. The event served as a fund-raiser for miscellaneous PTO projects. Additional photos are on the back of this week’s Observer.

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