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.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.
  • Front.splash
    Water Fun—Carter Seitz and Colson Walter take a fast trip along a plastic sliding strip while water from a sprinkler provides the lubrication. The boys took a break from tie-dyeing last week at Morenci’s Summer Recreation Program to cool off in the water.
  • Front.starting
    BIKE-A-THON—Children in Morenci’s Summer Recreation Program brought their bikes last Tuesday to participate in a bike-a-thon. Riders await the start of the event at the elementary school before being led on a course through town by organizer Leonie Leahy.
  • Front.drum
    on your mark, get set, drum!—Drew Joughin (black shirt), Maddox Joughin and Kaleea Braun took the front row last week when Angela Rettle and assistants led the Stair District Library Summer Reading Program kids in a session of cardio drumming. The sports and healthy living theme continued yesterday with a Mini Jamboree at Lake Hudson State Park arranged by the Michigan Department of Natural Resources. Next week’s program features the Flying Aces Frisbee show.
  • Front.art.park
    ART PARK—A design created by Poggemeyer Design Group shows a “pocket art park” in the green space south of the State Line Observer building. The proposal includes a 12-foot sculpture based on a design created by Morenci sixth grade student Klara Wesley through a school and library collaboration. A wooden band shell is located at the back of the lot. The Observer wall would be covered with a synthetic stucco material. City council members are considering ways to fund the estimated $125,000 project and perhaps tackling construction one step at a time.
  • Front.train
    WRECKAGE—Morenci Fire Department member Taylor Schisler walks past the smoking wreckage of a semi-truck tractor on the north side of the Norfolk and Southern Railroad tracks on Ranger Highway. The truck trailer was on the south side of the tracks

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