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.bridge Cross
    STEP BY STEP—Wyatt Stevens of Morenci makes his way across a rope bridge Sunday during the Michigan DNR’s Great Outdoors Jamboree at Lake Hudson Recreation Area. The Tecumseh Boy Scout Troop constructed the bridge again this year after taking a break in 2016. The Jamboree offered a variety of activities for a wide range of age groups. Morenci’s Stair District Library set up activities again this year and had visits with dozens of kids. See the back page for additional photos.
  • Front.bridge.17
    LEADING THE WAY—The Morenci Area High School marching band led the way across the pedestrian bridge on Morenci’s south side for the annual Labor Day Bridge Walk. The Band Boosters shared profits from the sale of T-shirts with the walk’s sponsor, the Morenci Area Chamber of Commerce. Additional photos are on the back page.
  • Front.eclipse
    LOOKING UP—More than 200 people showed up at Stair District Library Monday afternoon to view the big celestial event with free glasses provided by a grant from the Space Science Institute. The library offered craft activities from noon to 1 p.m., refreshments including Cosmic Cake from Zingerman’s Bakehouse and a live viewing of the eclipse from NASA on a large screen. As the sky darkened slightly, more and more people moved outside to the sidewalk to take a look at the shrinking sun. If you missed it, hang on for the next total eclipse in 2024 as the path comes even closer to this area.
  • Cecil
    THE MAYOR—Cecil Schoonover poses with a collection of garden gnomes that mysteriously arrive and disappear from his property. Along with the gnomes, someone created the sign stating that he is the Mayor of Gnomesville. He hasn’t yet tracked down the people involved in the prank, but he’s having a good time with the mystery.
  • Front.rest
    TAKE A BREAK—Last Wednesday’s session of Stair District Library’s Summer Reading Program ended with a quiet period in a class presented by yoga instructor Melany Gladieux of Toledo. Children learned a variety of yoga poses in the main room at the library, then finished off the session relaxing. Additional photos are on page 7. Area children are invited to visit the library today when the Michigan Science Center presents a flight program at 11 a.m. and roller coasters at 1 p.m.
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    THE DERBY—Tyler “Smallpox” Flakne of Minnesota’s Home Run League All-Stars goes for the fence Friday night during the National Wiffle League Association’s home run derby in Morenci. This year the wiffleball national tournament moved from Dublin, Ohio, to Morenci’s Wakefield Park. During the derby, competitors had two minutes to hit as many home runs as possible. The winner this year finished with 21. See page 6 and 7 for additional photos.
  • Front.green Screen
    OUT OF THIS WORLD—Elizabeth McFadden and Elise Christle pose in front of the green screen as VolunTeen Noah Gilson makes them appear as though they are standing on the Moon. More photos from the Stair District Library’s NASA @ My Library program are on page 12.
  • Front.fireworks
    FIREWORKS erupt Saturday night over Morenci’s Wakefield Park during the waning hours of the Town and Country Festival. Additional festival photos are inside.
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