Fayette school board 2011.10.26

Written by David Green.

By DAVID GREEN

Since May, the Fayette Board of Education approved budget cuts of nearly $327,000. During that same time, state support increased by only $40,000.

This points to the importance of the millage renewal request on the Nov. 8 ballot, superintendent Russ Griggs said at the Oct. 17 school board meeting.

Despite cuts in staff and salaries, the district desperately needs to maintain existing revenue to stay afloat.

Griggs said his main point to voters is that the levy is not a new tax, but only a renewal of what’s been paid for many years.

“It’s absolutely essential to the operation of the district,” Griggs said. “Failure to renew the levy would be catastrophic for the district. Even with passing the levy, due to decreasing revenue from the state, operation of the school district is going to be difficult financially, at best.”

District treasurer Kelly Bentley pointed out that Fayette’s average teacher salary and administrator salary is significantly below the state average, along with per-pupil spending.

“I think that says a lot for our district that we’re trying to be as conservative as we can,” she said.

Bentley told the board that an earlier projection called for Fayette to be one of 10 schools in the region to show a negative balance in 2013, but due to the staff cuts, the district should remain in the black until the 2014 school year.

Bentley said the district received a bonus of $17 per student from the state for achieving the “excellent” academic rating.

GIFT—The district is to receive 10 percent of the Nora (Nash) Smith trust for student scholarships. Smith graduated from Fayette in 1952 and then left the area. The amount is not yet known.

INSURANCE—Insurance costs will increase nine percent for the current school year. Despite a decision by staff members to pay more of the cost, the district will still pay an additional $26,000. That cost would have been much higher without the help from staff members, Bentley said.

DONATIONS—The Parent Support Group for the Class of 2012 donated $598 to purchase graduation caps and gowns.

The Fayette Athletic Boosters donated $4,900 to buy uniforms that will be worn by the cross country and track and field teams.

PLOWING—The board voted to accept a three-year contract with Jeff Keefer for snow removal. The contract calls for an increased cost due to the price of diesel fuel.

STAFF—Veronica Molina was approved as a substitute employee for several positions. Carolee Hartman resigned from her full-time bus driver job and was hired as a substitute driver.

Wendy Adams was hired to fill the dish washer preparation position for three hours a day.

Brian Keefer, Rodney Kessler and Heath Armstrong were approved as volunteers with the boys basketball program. Carrie Ueberroth will serve as elementary school student council advisor.

  • Front.pokemon
    LATEST CRAZE—David Cortes (left) and Ty Kruse, along with Jerred Heselschwerdt (standing), consult their smartphones while engaging in the game of Pokémon Go. The virtual scavenger hunt comes to life when players are in the vicinity of gyms, such as Stair District Library, and PokéStops such as the fire station across the street. The boys had spent time Monday morning searching for Pokémon at Wakefield Park.
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    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.
  • Girls.on.ride
    NADIYA YORK and Aniston Valentine take a spin on the Casino, one of the rides offered at Wakefield Park during Morenci’s Town and Country Festival. This year’s festival remained dry but with plenty of heat during the three-day run. Additional photographs are inside this week’s Observer.
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    Angela Davis (2) and teammate Allison VanBrandt break into a jig after Morenci's softball team won its third consecutive regional title.
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    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.
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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
  • 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.
  • 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.
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    BEVY OF BALLS—Stair District Library Summer Reading Program VolunTeens, including Libby Rorick, back left and Ty Kruse, back right, threw a dozen inflatable soccer balls into the crowd during a reading of “Sergio Saves the Game.” The sports-themed program continues on Wednesdays through July 27.
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  • Shadow.salon

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