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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