Fayette school board 2012.04.18

Written by David Green.

By DAVID GREEN

Nora Nash must have had a good experience when she attended school in Fayette 60 years ago. When it came time to disperse her estate, Fayette was on the list for a large bequest.

Nora (Nash) Smith grew up on County Road 23 and graduated with the Gorham Fayette class of 1952. Following her death last August, the Fayette school office learned in October that a portion of her estate would be given as a scholarship fund.

District treasurer Kelly Bentley learned later that the gift will exceed $100,000. She told board of education members Monday to begin thinking about how they would like to distribute the funds. 

Superintendent of schools Russ Griggs suggested contacting other area schools to gain ideas about setting up a scholarship fund for a gift of this size. The funds won’t be available until the 2012-13 school year.

Smith lived near Clarkston, Mich. She and her husband had no children. Another portion of her estate went to the University of Michigan engineering department.

MAINTENANCE—The maintenance fund associated with the district’s new school construction stands at about $450,000, Griggs reported. Any funds left over from construction of the school and the wind turbine project are required to stay in a maintenance fund to protect taxpayers from using general fund spending to tackle repair costs.

District residents pay a 0.5 mill levy for maintenance, also, but that amounts to about $18,000 a year, Griggs said.

SUMMER SCHOOL—Funds from the 21st Century grant have run out, reported elementary school principal Dr. LuAnn Boyer, leaving the district to cover the cost of summer school. The summer program generally involves only five or six third grade students.

Griggs said the grant program is designed for funds to decline over the five-year existence with the goal of local districts picking up the slack to maintain the programs. 

SPECIAL ED—Griggs told the board that the district is now back in compliance with state special education regulations. An audit found minor problems such as dates and lists of items, but no services were ever denied.

HANDBOOKS—The board approved the elementary and secondary school handbooks for the next school year. Updates in bullying policy were added, along with wording to reinforce discipline on school buses.

DONATIONS—An anonymous donation of $430 will be used to buy an iPad for the technology department. Marilyn Kinsman bought four food thermometers for the kitchen at a cost of $95.96.

EXEMPTION—Board members approved a waiver affidavit to take the district out of the state’s BMI (body fat) screening program for the next school year.

PARK—The board approved a contract with the village for use of the ball diamonds and track. The cost is $3,500 which is the same as last year.

LUNCH—Lunch prices will increase in the next school year to $2.20 for K-6 students and $2.50 for 7-12. 

Bentley explained that increases are forced through participation in the federal food program. The district can increase prices no more than 10 cents a year on its way to reaching the national average.

PERSONNEL—Family leave was granted to Sarah Weiland, beginning May 21 and ending with the close of the school year May 29, and to Pamela Schultz, beginning May 17 and ending May 29.

Wendy Adams was approved as a regular bus driver for the Four County afternoon route. Kelly Barkhimer and John Keys were approved as school van drivers upon completion of ODE qualifications and approval.

COACHING—Lindsey A. Schaffner and Lindsey A. New were hired as co-coaches for varsity cheerleading. Bryan Stambaugh was hired as varsity cross country coach and Matt Maginn will serve as assistant and junior high coach.

Sarah Wieland and Hilary Opdyke will served as junior high volleyball coaches and Todd Mitchell was hired as assistant golf/junior high golf coach.

CLOSED—The board met in a closed session to discuss a personnel issue relating to a grievance.

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    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.

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