School board gives superintendent a high grade 2012.04.25

Written by David Green.

Morenci’s shared superintendent of schools Dr. Michael Osborne received a good review from the Morenci Board of Education. Board members met in a closed session during the April 9 meeting to discuss Osborne’s job.

“Mike’s evaluation was good,” said board president Scott Merillat. “It was a lengthy discussion that provided a lot of feedback for Mike and areas to continue to improve. After all the comments were made, he either met or exceeded expectations on all the items we were reviewing.”

 Merillat said Osborne’s leadership has proven strong since he joined the Morenci district two years ago as a shared superintendent with Hudson.

“Over the last two years we have not only dealt with declining revenues and increasing costs, but we have had to deal with personal issues that no community or school district should ever have to face,” he said. “Mike has been a stabilizing figure through all of this.”

Merillat said the board is also impressed with Osborne’s role in guiding the district through tough financial times.

“As we continue to face great uncertainty statewide concerning public school funding, Mike has provided the board, staff and community with the facts as to how the district stands financially,” Merillat said.

“Many of these facts we prefer to not know about because the reality is frightening, although to make informed decisions you need all the facts, good or bad, and he has provided them,” Merillat said.

“In creating a plan for the future, Mike and the administrative team are developing a plan for the school district to survive not only for the next year but for the long term. To just survive is not important if we cannot provide our kids with a quality education. Mike sees the value in this and he is continually looking for ways for the district to improve and at the same time be fiscally responsible.”

Merillat said the partnerships Osborne has helped start with other districts are exciting to watch. The partnerships should save the district money in some instances and in some cases lead to increased course offerings for students.

  • 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.

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