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.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.base Ball
    UMPIRE Thomas Henthorn tosses the bat between team captains Mikayla Price and Chuck Piskoti of Flint’s Lumber City Base Ball Club. Following the 1860 rules, after the bat was grabbed by the captains, captains’ hands advanced to the top of the bat—one hand on top of the other. The captain whose hand ended up on top decided who would bat first. Additional photos of Sunday’s game appear on page 12 of this week’s Observer. The contest was organized in conjunction with Stair District Library’s Hometown Teams exhibit that runs through Nov. 20.
    VALUE OF ATHLETICS—Morenci graduate John Bancroft (center) takes a turn at the microphone during a chat session at the opening of the Hometown Teams exhibit at Stair District Library. Clockwise to his left is John Dillon, Jed Hall, Jim Bauer, Joe Farquhar, George Hollstein, George Vereecke and Mike McDowell. Thomas Henthorn (at the podium) kicked off the conversation. Henthorn, a University of Michigan–Flint professor, will return to Morenci this Sunday to lead a game of vintage base ball at the school softball field.
  • Front.cross
    HUDSON RUNNER Jacob Morgan looks toward the top of the hill with dismay during the tough finish at Harrison Lake State Park. Fayette runner Jacob Garrow focuses on the summit, also, during the Eagle Invitational cross country run Saturday morning. Continuing rain and drizzle made the course even more challenging. Results of the race are in 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.
  • Front.crossing
    Crossing over—Jim Heiney was given a U.S. flag to carry by George Vereecke (behind Jim in the hat), turning him into the leader of the parade. Bridge Walk participants cross over Bean Creek while, in the background, members of the Morenci Legion Riders cross the main traffic bridge on East Street South. Additional photos appear on the back page of this week’s Observer.
  • 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.

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