Morenci school joins collaboration 2011.11.09

Written by David Green.

By DAVID GREEN

Following the audit report by CPA Phil Rubley, Morenci Board of Education members voted to lay off a staff member Monday and to explore collaborative efforts with three other school districts.

The board voted to lay off Kay Holubik, the administrative assistant in the board office. 

“It’s a financial situation and we apologize for the situation that we’re in,” said superintendent of schools Dr. Michael Osborne. “We need to do things to make it through these times so we can be a stronger district and to make sure we always do have a district here.”

Holubik will remain with the district for a few weeks, he said, and during that time, discussions will take place for covering the assistant’s position.

Morenci will work with the Hudson, Onsted and Adrian school boards to explore collaborative efforts to cut costs.

 Morenci has been a county leader in instigating collaborative efforts in the past, Osborne said, and he would like to see that continue.

Working with Hudson was a natural move, he said, since the two school boards already meet regularly to discuss the shared superintendent. He saw the administrations at Onsted and Adrian as being interested in joining in.

County districts are always competing for students through the Schools of Choice option, Osborne noted, and that’s made cooperation difficult at times.

Administrators and board members have met over the past two months to discuss what’s keeping districts from working together: School of Choice, advertising for other’s students, driving buses into other districts to pick up kids.

“We believe we’ve come up with a proposal of how we can do that [cooperate] and we have some ideas of areas where we can start working together.”

A resolution passed by the board Monday serves as a public announcement stating that “we think this is the right thing to do, not only for Morenci but for the county,” Osborne said.

The effort isn’t only to save money, said board president Scott Merillat, but also to increase services. Smaller districts, for example, aren’t able to offer the same variety of courses as a larger district.

Other districts might want to join the group in the future, he said, but the decision was made to keep it small initially.

The resolution points toward the desire to create “a set of rules for competition that fosters creativity without creating an adversarial relationship.” 

Details about proposed collaborative efforts will be given in the future.

PERSONNEL: Sarah Cool was hired as a cafeteria cook and Chris Ramsey was hired as girls JV basketball coach. Jediah Hall was approved as a volunteer assistant for the eighth grade boys basketball team.

TREE: The board heard plans for planting a magnolia tree in memory of the late Carol Smith who worked in the high school office for more than three decades.

Four families are covering the cost of the planting and a memorial plaque.

  • Front.tug
    MORENCI pep rallies generally end with a tug of war. The senior class entry, shown above, did not advance to the finals. Griffin Grieder, Alaina Webster, Kyle Long and Jazmin Smith are shown at the front of the rope, giving it their best effort.
  • Accident
    FAYETTE resident Patricia Stambaugh, 64, was declared dead on the scene of a single-vehicle accident Friday morning south of Morenci. Rescue units were called around 9 a.m., but as of Tuesday, law enforcement officers had not yet determined the time of the accident. According to Ohio State Highway Patrol, Stambaugh was driving west on U.S. 20 when her Chevrolet Malibu traveled off the north side of the road and down a steep embankment, coming to rest in Bean Creek (Tiffin River).
  • Athletic Fields
    SPORTS COMPLEX—Fayette’s outdoor athletic facilities will include three ball fields for summer recreation leagues at the southwest corner of the school. The baseball and softball fields, along with the running track, will be constructed on the east side of the school. Outdoor athletic fields were not part of the new school project from 2007, but voters approved a $1.4 million levy for a school addition and the sports fields last August. Both projects are scheduled to be complete by July 20.
  • Front.teacher Leading
    PRESCHOOL MUSIC—Fayette band director Jeffrey Dunford spends the last half hour of the day leading the full-day preschool class in musical activities. Additional photos are on page 7 of this week’s Observer.
  • Front.F.band
    TROMBONISTS Jake Myers (left) and Max Baker perform Friday at the annual Senior Citizens Luncheon at Fayette High School. The National Honor Society and the FFA chapter teamed up to serve a meal to area seniors and to provide musical entertainment. Both the school band and choir performed. Additional photos are on page 7 of this week’s Observer.
  • Station.2
    STRANGE STUFF—Morenci Elementary School students learn that blue isn’t really blue when seen through the right color of lens. Volunteer April Pike presents the lesson to students at one of the many stations brought to the school by the COSI science center. The theme of this year’s visit was the solar system.
  • Front.poles
    MOVING EAST—Utility workers continue their slow progress east along U.S. 20 south of Morenci. New electrical poles are put in place before wiring is moved into place.

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