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.tug
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  • Front.teacher Leading
    PRESCHOOL MUSIC—Fayette band director Jeffrey Dunford spends the last half hour of the day leading the full-day preschool class in musical activities. Additional photos are on page 7 of this week’s Observer.
  • Front.F.band
    TROMBONISTS Jake Myers (left) and Max Baker perform Friday at the annual Senior Citizens Luncheon at Fayette High School. The National Honor Society and the FFA chapter teamed up to serve a meal to area seniors and to provide musical entertainment. Both the school band and choir performed. Additional photos are on page 7 of this week’s Observer.
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  • 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.

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