Fayette school board 11.17.2010

Written by David Green.


Fayette school superintendent Russell Griggs highlighted three points at the Monday board of education meeting from his list of priority challenges for board members.

Griggs’s priority list is subject to updates at least once a year and it gives board members an understanding of where the superintendent is focusing his attention.

ADMINISTRATION—Griggs continued to advise the board about planning for a transition to a new administration, along with keeping overall administrative spending down.

Griggs said he’s begun looking at other districts in the state to compare personnel and job assignments. He’ll report to the board by the end of the school year in an overview that includes positions such as counseling, athletics and support staff.

The goal, Griggs said, is to examine staff configurations used in other districts and adopt features that could help Fayette keep administrative costs frozen at the current level or even less.

Griggs is also reviewing options for the following school year regarding his schedule and pay. He works on a part-time basis for Fayette. Although he’s not in the building every day, he’s available by telephone and e-mail.

Griggs said his contract runs through the 2011-12 school year and he intends to complete it. However, he’s also looking for further reductions in his time and will present a plan to the board in January.

When Griggs leaves the district, administrative costs would rise significantly if a full-time superintendent were hired, and he wants board members to continue thinking about the future.

He believes the state budget for the next two fiscal years will not be good for schools. A bulletin from the Ohio School Boards Association indicated a probability of state aid cuts in the 15 to 20 percent range, based on conversations with legislative leaders.

LEAK—Roof leaks in the kindergarten room at the new school are continuing and Griggs has contacted Bo-Dec Roofing of Archbold for help. Griggs told the board that he’s had good success with the company in the past.

“Since contacting them, we have not had a good rain for them to check the leak,” he said.

Griggs spoke of his frustration with the problem over the last three years and the inability to come to a satisfactory resolution through either the architect or contractor.

“Fortunately it is not a huge leak and this is the only item left hanging from the project,” Griggs said.

DONATIONS—Board members accepted two donations from the PTO: $49 to buy supplies for reading awards and $300 to buy 25 Texas Instruments T1-30X calculators.

A donation of $4,032 from the Parent Support Group was approved for the Class of 2011.

STAFF—Brook Rights and Laura Vanderhorst were approved as classroom aides, pending background checks.

Hilary Opdyke was approved as the junior high cheerleading advisor and Marilyn Opdyke was given another seven-year term on the Normal Memorial Library Board of Directors, through Dec. 31, 2017.

Jason Nicely was approved as a volunteer high school girls basketball coach. Family leave was approved for teacher Laura Leininger from Jan. 14 to March 22, 2011.

TRIP—A senior class trip to Orlando, Fla., was approved for April 29 through May 1, 2010.

  • Front.cowboy
    A PERFORMER named Biligbaatar, a member of the AnDa Union troupe from Inner Mongolia, dances at Stair District Library last week during a visit to the Midwest. The nine-member group blends a variety of traditions from Inner and Outer Mongolia. The music is described as drawing from “all the Mongol tribes that Genghis Khan unified.” The group considers itself music gatherers whose goal is to preserve traditional sounds of Mongolia. Biligbaatar grew up among traditional herders who live in yurts. Additional photos are on the back page of this week’s Observer.
  • Front.base Ball
    UMPIRE Thomas Henthorn tosses the bat between team captains Mikayla Price and Chuck Piskoti of Flint’s Lumber City Base Ball Club. Following the 1860 rules, after the bat was grabbed by the captains, captains’ hands advanced to the top of the bat—one hand on top of the other. The captain whose hand ended up on top decided who would bat first. Additional photos of Sunday’s game appear on page 12 of this week’s Observer. The contest was organized in conjunction with Stair District Library’s Hometown Teams exhibit that runs through Nov. 20.
  • Front.chat
    VALUE OF ATHLETICS—Morenci graduate John Bancroft (center) takes a turn at the microphone during a chat session at the opening of the Hometown Teams exhibit at Stair District Library. Clockwise to his left is John Dillon, Jed Hall, Jim Bauer, Joe Farquhar, George Hollstein, George Vereecke and Mike McDowell. Thomas Henthorn (at the podium) kicked off the conversation. Henthorn, a University of Michigan–Flint professor, will return to Morenci this Sunday to lead a game of vintage base ball at the school softball field.
  • Front.cross
    HUDSON RUNNER Jacob Morgan looks toward the top of the hill with dismay during the tough finish at Harrison Lake State Park. Fayette runner Jacob Garrow focuses on the summit, also, during the Eagle Invitational cross country run Saturday morning. Continuing rain and drizzle made the course even more challenging. Results of the race are in this week’s Observer.
  • Front.bear
    HOLDEN HUTCHISON gives a hug to a black bear cub—the product of a taxidermist’s skills—at the Michigan DNR’s Great Youth Jamboree. The event on Sunday marked the fourth year of the Jamboree. Additional photos are on page 12.
  • Front.crossing
    Crossing over—Jim Heiney was given a U.S. flag to carry by George Vereecke (behind Jim in the hat), turning him into the leader of the parade. Bridge Walk participants cross over Bean Creek while, in the background, members of the Morenci Legion Riders cross the main traffic bridge on East Street South. Additional photos appear on the back page of this week’s Observer.
  • 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.

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