Morenci school board 2012.02.22

Written by David Green.


Morenci middle school and high school will be served by a single office next year rather than spreading services between two locations.

The main office will be located in the larger middle school office beginning in the 2012-13 school year. 

The athletic director and councilor Diana Fallot will continue to have offices in the high school and principal Kelli Campbell will still spend time in both buildings.

The middle school and high school will remain separate, said superintendent Michael Osborne, with limited student interaction between the two.

Morenci Chief of Police Larry Weeks spoke with administrators about security concerns and it was decided to limit access only through the middle school office once the school day is underway.

MEAP—Campbell told board members at the Feb. 15 meeting that the state has changed the cutoff score for proficiency on the MEAP test. When scores are released soon, she said it’s likely there will be a change in proficiency results compared to previous years.

However, a website at will provide all MEAP data from the previous four years and apply what’s known as the new MEAP Cut Score. This will give a more accurate presentation of where the district stands.

ADVISORY—Campbell is planning a student advisory seminar in which up to 25 students will meet with her to discuss concerns and ideas for improvement.

TERMS—In future school board elections, trustees will be elected to six-year terms of office. The state is requiring terms that end in even years. Had four-year terms been chosen, four seats would have expired at the same election.

PERSONNEL—Betty Beaverson was hired as a cook to replace Mary McDowell who retired. Ruth Ann Mansfield was approved for retire/rehire in the food service program, through June 30. The resignation of bus driver Freda Wright was accepted.

Paraprofessionals Amanda Amos and Sherry Dillon were laid off, however, Dillon might be called back if a student returns to the district. Both are excellent employees, Osborne said, but their employment is based on the presence of special needs students.

Paraprofessional Heather Dilworth’s hours were reduced from eight hours to six hours.

PRINCIPALS—Supt. Osborne said that serving as a school principal has always been a difficult job, but the position involves more challenges now than ever.

The district’s past and present principals have served the school well, he said, in honor of Principal Recognition Month.

SCHOLARSHIPS—Osborne said the scholarship opportunities for Morenci students are amazing for a small town and he praised the Kiwanis Club for its work in sponsoring the Rex Riley-Kiwanis Scholarship.

JAPANESE—Three Morenci fifth grade students will join students from three other districts to study Japanese language and culture with an Adrian College professor. The project is part of the cooperative that Morenci formed with other districts.

ELEMENTARY—Dean of students Mary Fisher said that teachers are working to combine disciplines so that more reading and writing is involved in other classes such as science and social studies.

ADVERTISING—The board passed a resolution, along with several other districts, to cease promotional advertising that attempts to attract students from neighboring districts.

Instead, Osborne said, county districts need to join together to make each district successful so that no one has a reason to open a charter school. He sees more advantages in making the county as a whole more competitive.

Michigan Governor Rick Snyder has increased the limit on charter schools in the state and intends to remove all limits in the future.

  • Front.cowboy
    A PERFORMER named Biligbaatar, a member of the AnDa Union troupe from Inner Mongolia, dances at Stair District Library last week during a visit to the Midwest. The nine-member group blends a variety of traditions from Inner and Outer Mongolia. The music is described as drawing from “all the Mongol tribes that Genghis Khan unified.” The group considers itself music gatherers whose goal is to preserve traditional sounds of Mongolia. Biligbaatar grew up among traditional herders who live in yurts. Additional photos are on the back page of this week’s Observer.
  • Front.base Ball
    UMPIRE Thomas Henthorn tosses the bat between team captains Mikayla Price and Chuck Piskoti of Flint’s Lumber City Base Ball Club. Following the 1860 rules, after the bat was grabbed by the captains, captains’ hands advanced to the top of the bat—one hand on top of the other. The captain whose hand ended up on top decided who would bat first. Additional photos of Sunday’s game appear on page 12 of this week’s Observer. The contest was organized in conjunction with Stair District Library’s Hometown Teams exhibit that runs through Nov. 20.
    VALUE OF ATHLETICS—Morenci graduate John Bancroft (center) takes a turn at the microphone during a chat session at the opening of the Hometown Teams exhibit at Stair District Library. Clockwise to his left is John Dillon, Jed Hall, Jim Bauer, Joe Farquhar, George Hollstein, George Vereecke and Mike McDowell. Thomas Henthorn (at the podium) kicked off the conversation. Henthorn, a University of Michigan–Flint professor, will return to Morenci this Sunday to lead a game of vintage base ball at the school softball field.
  • Front.cross
    HUDSON RUNNER Jacob Morgan looks toward the top of the hill with dismay during the tough finish at Harrison Lake State Park. Fayette runner Jacob Garrow focuses on the summit, also, during the Eagle Invitational cross country run Saturday morning. Continuing rain and drizzle made the course even more challenging. Results of the race are in this week’s Observer.
  • Front.bear
    HOLDEN HUTCHISON gives a hug to a black bear cub—the product of a taxidermist’s skills—at the Michigan DNR’s Great Youth Jamboree. The event on Sunday marked the fourth year of the Jamboree. Additional photos are on page 12.
  • Front.crossing
    Crossing over—Jim Heiney was given a U.S. flag to carry by George Vereecke (behind Jim in the hat), turning him into the leader of the parade. Bridge Walk participants cross over Bean Creek while, in the background, members of the Morenci Legion Riders cross the main traffic bridge on East Street South. Additional photos appear on the back page of this week’s Observer.
  • Front.hose Testing
    HOSE safety—The FireCatt hose testing company from Troy put Morenci Fire Department hose to the test Monday morning when Mill Street was closed to traffic. The company also checks nozzles and ladders for wear in an effort to keep fire fighters safe while on calls.

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