The Weekly Newspaper serving the citizens of Morenci, Mich., Fayette, Ohio, and surrounding areas.

  • 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.winner
    REFEREE Camden Miller raises the hand of Morenci Jr. Dawgs wrestler Ryder Ryan as his opponent leaves the mat in disappointment. Morenci’s youth wrestling program served as host for a tournament Saturday morning to raise money for the club. Additional photos are on the back page.
  • Front.bank.2
    SHERWOOD STATE Bank opened its Fayette office at a grand opening Friday morning, drawing a large crowd to view the renovated building. Above, Burt Blue talks to teller Cindy Funk, while his wife, Jackie, looks around the new office. The Blues missed the opening and took a quick tour on Tuesday. Few traces remain of the former grocery store and theater, however, part of the original brick wall still shows in the hallway leading to the back of the building. The drive-through window should be ready for customers later in the month.
  • Front.carry.casket
    CARRYING—Riley Terry (blue jacket) and Mason Vaughn lead the way, carrying an empty casket outside to the hearse waiting at the curb. Morenci juniors and seniors visited Eagle Funeral Home last week to learn about the role of a funeral director and to understand the process of arranging for a funeral.
  • Front.lift
    MORENCI student Dalton McCowan puts everything into a dead lift attempt Saturday morning during the Wyseguy Push/Pull event. Lifters helped raise more than $1,600 for the family of the late Devin Wyse, a former Morenci power-lifter who graduated last year. Commemorative T-shirts are still available by contacting teacher Dan Hoffman.
  • Front.make.three
    FROM THE LEFT, Landon Wilkins, Ryan White and Logan Blaker try out their artistic skills Saturday afternoon at the Morenci PTO’s first Date to Create event. More than 50 people showed up to create decorated planks of wood to hang from rope. The event served as a fund-raiser for miscellaneous PTO projects. Additional photos are on the back of this week’s Observer.
  • Front.F.office
    NEW OFFICES—Fayette village administrator Steve Blue speaks with tax administrator Genna Biddix at the new front desk of the village office. Village council members voted to use budgeted renovation funds targeted for the old office and instead buy the vacant bank building on the corner of Main and Fayette streets. The old office was sold to Sherwood State Bank. When everything is put into place in the spacious new village office, an open house will be scheduled. Council member David Wheeler donated all of his time needed to make changes in the bank interior to fit the Village’s needs.

Fayette school board 2011.11.23

Written by David Green.

By DAVID GREEN

Fayette is making progress in its Race to the Top efforts and school board members heard a quarterly update Monday from team member Sally Kovar.

Kovar, an education consultant with the Northwest Ohio Educational Service Center, is assisting the Fayette and Evergreen districts in meeting Race to the Top (RTTT) requirements. Ohio was chosen last year to participate in the federal program that provides extra funding to districts meeting the federal requirements.

Kovar reminded the board that the RTTT transformation team consists of two elementary school teachers, two from the secondary school and one who teaches classes at both levels. Elementary school principal Dr. Luann Boyer and school board member Karen King are also part of the team.

Updates are sent monthly to the state board of education. A professional development plan was also created this year.

Dr. Boyer said the professional development funding has been very helpful to the district, but when that money runs out, administrators will have to be more creative in finding ways to continue the work.

RTTT funding also paid for a program called Next Navigator that assists teachers in moving from academic content standards to common core standards. The change will take place over the next few years, Kovar said, and Next Navigator lays out the two methods side by side to help in the transition.

Boyer and secondary principal Dan Feasel attended a meeting on the principal evaluation system.

“We’re also involved in a pilot program for the Ohio teachers evaluation system,” Kovar said. “It gave the teachers the chance to get their hands on the rubric, so then we have a voice in what goes on that evaluation and what does not.”

Three teachers have volunteered to be involved in the evaluation program.

“Rigor and relevance” are the key words at the high school, Kovar said, and this goes hand in hand with common core.

“In years before,” she said, “curriculum was an inch thick and a mile wide. Now they want fewer things covered more in depth. When you look at the common core, we’re hitting the same things over and over and over again, but a little deeper at each grade level. This gives kids a much firmer foundation.”

ROAD—Fayette superintendent Russ Griggs expressed his satisfaction with the newly widened and resurfaced Gamble Road in front of the school.

New lighting along the street has yet to be completed, but that should improve night vision at the school entrance.

LEVY—Griggs noted that levy renewals cannot be considered automatic anymore, and he said it was very gratifying to see the support for Fayette’s renewal in the recent election.

BUDGET—District treasurer Kelly Bentley told that board that revenue has decreased significantly from the first quarter a year ago. Revenue declined by $144,000, however, expenses went down by $191,000 from the previous year, leaving the district with a gain of $47,000.

VETERANS—Feasel said 53 people attended the Veteran’s Day Breakfast at the school. The event was very well received, he said.

CONFERENCE—Despite an increase in junior and high school enrollment, participation in the parent-teacher conferences declined. Feasel wondered if the reason might have been due to grade cards being distributed shortly before conferences.

DONATIONS—The following donations were approved by the board: $250 from the Christian Church to buy winter accessories for elementary school students needing warm gear; a used trumpet from Karen King; a donation of $318 from Dr. Boyer to buy supplies for the school dog;

an anonymous $37.25 donation to buy Quick Word Handbooks for Everyday Writers; and a $759 anonymous donation to give $500 for the school’s cross country invitational meet, $100 for Spanish Club activities, and $159 for the Veteran’s Day Breakfast.

STAFF—Cinda Metcalf was hired as a substitute teacher and Wendy Burkholder was hired as a substitute cafeteria worker and custodian.

TRIPS—The board approved a one-day train trip to Chicago for the Spanish Club on May 4, and a one-day FFA trip to Chicago to visit the Mercantile Exchange.

A four-day senior trip to Dayton, Cincinnati and West Virginia was tabled pending additional details.

VOLLEYBALL—The board approved an adult volleyball program, with Scott Wagner serving as league coordinator.

LIBRARY—Michael Figgins was granted another term on the Normal Memorial Library board of trustees.

CLOSED—The board met in a closed session to discuss a personnel issue.

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