Phil Stark hired as Morenci's assistant principal, AD

Written by David Green.

stark.philBy DAVID GREEN

Morenci has a new assistant secondary principal in place with the hiring of Phil Stark.

The board of education met for a special session Thursday night to hire an interim assistant principal/athletic director following the resignation of Taz Wallace last month.

A committee made up of two administrators, a teacher and a representative from the athletic department interviewed five of the 12 applicants for the job and recommended two finalists, Stark and former Morenci principal Kay Johnson.

Superintendent Dr. Michael Osborne and Campbell conducted a second interview and chose Stark for the position. The board voted unanimously to accept the administrators’ recommendation, with Carrie Dillon absent.

Stark will serve through the remainder of the school year, and during that time someone will be chosen to fill the position permanently. 

There were some excellent candidates, Osborne said, and he said that he was proud of the quality of some local people who applied for the position.

“During the interview process, it became very apparent that Mr. Stark and I do share similar philosophy on discipline and educational culture and climate in the schools,” Campbell said. “I think we’re going to work really well together. I’m excited.”

Stark is a graduate of Onsted High School. He attended Hope College for a year, where he played football, but eventually earned a degree in physical education, with a coaching emphasis, from Western Michigan University. His minor was in health.

Due to the shortage of teaching jobs in Michigan, Stark and his wife, Jessica, moved to South Carolina where Stark taught physical education and health for two years.

After returning to Michigan, the couple bought Little People’s Place child care center in Morenci and Stark has worked as a substitute teacher in the county. He also served as Morenci’s wrestling coach for the past season.

Stark’s first day on the job was Monday. His office is located in the high school principal’s office rather than in the former athletic director’s office.

Osborne said the district will advertise for the permanent position within the next few weeks. He expects that some people who might have been interested in the position didn’t apply for the interim post because they couldn’t take a temporary job.

Osborne said that Stark might have the potential to serve in the long-term role and the administration will have the opportunity to observe his work in the next few weeks.

Osborne expects to soon begin the search for a new head varsity football coach to fill another vacancy left by Wallace’s departure.

DRIVER—Transportation supervisor Devon Vernier recommended that the board hire Lynn Ann Farley to replace a driver who resigned last month. Farley has served as a substitute driver with the district.

The board voted unanimously to hire Farley.

  • Front.nok Hok
    GAMES DAY—Finn Molitierno (right) celebrates a goal during a game of Nok Hockey with his sister, Kyla. The two tried out a variety of games Saturday at Stair District Library’s annual International Games Day event. One of the activities featured a sort of scavenger hunt in which participants had to locate facts presented in the Smithsonian Hometown Teams exhibit. The traveling show left Morenci’s library Tuesday, wrapping up a series of programs that began Oct. 2. Additional photos are on page 7.
  • Station.2
    STRANGE STUFF—Morenci Elementary School students learn that blue isn’t really blue when seen through the right color of lens. Volunteer April Pike presents the lesson to students at one of the many stations brought to the school by the COSI science center. The theme of this year’s visit was the solar system.
  • Front.leaves
    MAPLE leaves show their fall colors in a puddle at Morenci’s Riverside Natural Area. “This was a great year for colors,” said local weather watcher George Isobar. Chilly mornings will give way to seasonable fall temperatures for the next two weeks.
  • Front.band
    MORENCI Marching Band member Brittany Dennis keeps the beat Friday during the half-time show of the Morenci/Pittsford football game. Color guard member Jordan Cordts is at the left. The band performed this season under the direction of Doyle Rodenbeck who served as Morenci’s band director in the 1970s. He’s serving as a substitute during a family leave.
  • Front.poles
    MOVING EAST—Utility workers continue their slow progress east along U.S. 20 south of Morenci. New electrical poles are put in place before wiring is moved into place.
  • 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.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.

Weekly newspaper serving SE Michigan and NW Ohio - State Line Observer ©2006-2016