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.