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.

Morenci school board 2012.03.07

Written by David Green.

By DAVID GREEN

The Morenci Board of Education is expected to hire an interim assistant principal in a special meeting at 6 p.m. Thursday.

Following the resignation of athletic director/behavioral specialist Taz Wallace two weeks ago, a notice was posted to hire a temporary athletic director/assistant principal for the remainder of the school year. Twelve applications were received and interviewing got underway Monday.

Many athletic director duties are covered, said Morenci Superintendent of Schools Dr. Michael Osborne, but the most critical need is for someone to address discipline issues during the school day.

 Osborne said the administration is acting quickly on the matter and he expects to have someone in place by the start of school next week, if not earlier.

He will begin seeking a permanent employee within a few weeks. The key, he said, is to make sure the right person is found to cover both the athletic director position and assistant principal duties.

He also expects to begin the search for a new football coach within a few weeks.

ASSESSMENT—Secondary principal Kelli Campbell and elementary principal Mary Fisher reviewed the recently released state test scores and pointed out both upward trends and some drops in scores.

“There are 18 tests total in grades three through nine and we were in the top five in the county on five of those tests,” Campbell said. “We increased our proficiency on 11 out of 18 tests, and if you’re looking at the state improvement average, we were above that average on nine out of 18 tests.”

When scores are released, she said, staff begins analyzing the results.

 “Ms. Fisher and I have come up with a few strategies to improve our scores,” Campbell said. “One thing we’re going to continue to do is the literacy program which includes intervention.”

They also intend to focus more on what the state refers to as “partially proficient” students—those who didn’t meet the proficiency standard but were close. An analysis of scores will determine where they fell short and remediation will be given.

It might be interesting to look at the trend of scores and to compare districts, but what’s more important for school staff, Campbell said, is to follow each class of students through the grades to see how they’re improving or going down.

 The literacy program started with the youngest students, Fisher said, and is now used throughout the elementary school. She expects this effort to show positive results.

Annual MEAP scores get the most press, Osborne said, but he agreed with the other administrators that the most value in the program comes from studying the data to determine what’s missing from the curriculum. 

What he really appreciates about the teachers’ response is how they’re looking at the data and turning it into action to fill in gaps in the curriculum.

BULLYING—Campbell said that a bullying awareness program will be implemented in the middle school during the third trimester.

The effort is expected to help students identify forms of bullying and to suggest ways to respond. The program will be presented during the daily 25-minute seminar period.

BULLDOG APPLAUSE—Campbell told about the start of a program to highlight exemplary actions by students and school staff. Nominations can be submitted by anyone, including community members. Forms are available on the school website or at the high school and middle school offices.

She read the first “applause” submitted. Student Brennen Mellon and his mother, Stacy, recognized teacher Karen Shaner for her ability to understand and assist students. She was described as a teacher who can make a difference in a child’s life.

PERSONNEL—Tenure was granted to elementary school teachers Keith Filipek and Paula Grieder. 

Both have proven themselves to be excellent teachers, Fisher said, and she’s pleased to keep them in the Morenci school system.

The resignation of middle school football coach Fred Love was accepted. It was estimated that he’s served in that role for at least 17 years.

BAND—Morenci’s high school band will join with Camden-Frontier and Reading again this year for a series of three Master Works concerts. The effort gives three small bands the experience of performing together as a large band. The Morenci concert is scheduled at 7 p.m. March 20.

A middle school band concert is planned at 6 p.m. March 29.

RENEWAL—The board voted to move the 18-mill operating millage vote to Aug. 7. By pairing the vote with the state primary, the cost of the election can be split with the city. The millage brings in about $372,000 in operating funds.

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