Taz Wallace hired as Morenci athletic director/behavioral specialist 08.04.2010

Written by David Green.

By DAVID GREEN

Morenci Board of Education members approved Monday a new combined athletic director/behavioral specialist position. The board also approved a job description for a building engineer post.

Tim Kruse has served as athletic director for several years, but his duties grew to include an array of maintenance duties, as well. However, no job description was ever created for his expanded role.

He resigned from the athletic director post and will now be known as the building engineer. Kruse will continue to prepare athletic facilities for competition and will attend to general maintenance and repair of school facilities.

Adrian resident Tavarski “Taz” Wallace was hired to serve as athletic director and behavioral specialist. Federal Title I funding will be used to pay for the behavioral specialist role.

In that job Wallace will work with administrators to create behavioral intervention strategies for students in grades five through 12. He will also handle attendance and truancy records.

The Tuscaloosa, Ala., native graduated from Madison High School and was a three-time All-American linebacker with Adrian College.

He created and serves as executive director of the “Minds of the Future” foundation, an organization helping youngsters overcome difficulties by exposing them to role models and experiences.

“We had a very strong field of applicants,” said board president Scott Merillat about the athletic director job. “I think we’ve got a very strong candidate.”

Forty-two people applied for the position, including several local residents. A few community members and coaches helped review the applications.

“Taz offers the leadership we’re looking for,” said superintendent Dr. Michael Osborne, “and has the kind of character that will take our athletic program where it needs to go.”

In addition, he said, Wallace has a good understanding of young people and a strong commitment to youngsters.

Wallace thanked the board for the opportunity to serve.

Wallace said he has always been a leader and he intends to use that quality to direct the athletic department to make sure it’s moving in a positive direction. He wants students to win both on and off the field and he sees athletics as a good place to build relationships.

SECRETARY—Cindy Fankhauser will move from the middle school secretarial position to the high school. Many applicants were received, Dr. Osborne said, but he’s pleased that an experienced employee was interested in the position.

BIDS—Tri-County Fuels was approved to furnish premium diesel fuel for the 2010-11 school year and Lightning Quick Gas and Go was approved to supply unleaded regular gasoline.

Arps Dairy will furnish dairy products.

BUSES—County National Bank was approved to finance the purchase of two school buses. A federal program aimed at reducing diesel emissions enabled the board to buy two buses for the price of one. Former superintendent Kyle Griffith brought the plan to the board’s attention a year ago.

COMMITTEES—Carrie Dillon and Phil McCaskey volunteered to join a committee that will review the district’s policy manual.

Dillon and Dwight Mansfield will serve on a shared service council with representatives from Hudson to review the shared superintendent position on a quarterly basis.

ALTERNATIVE EDUCATION—In response to an audience member’s question, Dr. Osborne said the district intends to continue offering the alternative high school program, although a staffing decision has not yet been made.

• The next meeting of the Morenci school board is scheduled at 7 p.m. Sept. 13.

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    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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    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.
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    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.
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    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.
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    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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