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.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.
  • Front.train
    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.
  • Front.soccer.balls
    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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