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.

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    FIREWORKS erupt Saturday night over Morenci’s Wakefield Park during the waning hours of the Town and Country Festival. Additional festival photos are inside.
  • Pipeline Spread
    LINED UP—Lengths of pipe were put in place last week along the route of the Rover natural gas pipeline that will stretch from Defiance, Ohio, to Ontario, Canada. Topsoil was removed before the pipes were laid out. The 42-inch diameter pipeline is scheduled for completion in November.
  • Front.grieders
    ONE-TWO PUNCH—Morenci’s Griffin Grieder saved his best for last, running his fastest time ever in the 110-meter high hurdles at the state finals Saturday in Grand Rapids to finish first in the state in Div. IV. His brother Luke, a junior (right), claimed the state runner-up spot. Bulldog junior Bailee Dominique placed seventh in the 100-meter dash.
  • Front.sidewalk
    MORENCI senior class president Mikayla Price leads the way Sunday afternoon from the Church of the Nazarene to the United Methodist Church for the baccalaureate ceremony. Later in the day, 39 members of the senior class received diplomas in the high school gymnasium.
  • Front.F.school
    PROGRESS continues on the agriculture classroom addition at Fayette High School. The project will add 2,900 square feet of space and include an overhead door that would allow equipment to be driven inside. The building should be ready for the start of school in August. Work on ball fields and a running track is also underway.
  • 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.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.
  • Face Paint
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