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.

  • Shadow.salon
    LEARNING THE ROPES—Kristy Castillo (left), co-owner of Mane Street Salon, works with Kendal Kuhn as Sierra Orner takes a phone call. The two Morenci Area High School juniors spent Friday at the salon as part of a job shadowing experience.
  • KayseInField
    IN THE FIELD—2004 Morenci graduate Kayse Onweller works in a test plot of wheat in Texas. She’s part of Bayer CropScience’s North American wheat breeding program based in Nebraska, where she completed post-graduate work in plant breeding and genetics.
  • Front.winner
    REFEREE Camden Miller raises the hand of Morenci Jr. Dawgs wrestler Ryder Ryan as his opponent leaves the mat in disappointment. Morenci’s youth wrestling program served as host for a tournament Saturday morning to raise money for the club. Additional photos are on the back page.
  • Front.bank.2
    SHERWOOD STATE Bank opened its Fayette office at a grand opening Friday morning, drawing a large crowd to view the renovated building. Above, Burt Blue talks to teller Cindy Funk, while his wife, Jackie, looks around the new office. The Blues missed the opening and took a quick tour on Tuesday. Few traces remain of the former grocery store and theater, however, part of the original brick wall still shows in the hallway leading to the back of the building. The drive-through window should be ready for customers later in the month.
  • Front.carry.casket
    CARRYING—Riley Terry (blue jacket) and Mason Vaughn lead the way, carrying an empty casket outside to the hearse waiting at the curb. Morenci juniors and seniors visited Eagle Funeral Home last week to learn about the role of a funeral director and to understand the process of arranging for a funeral.
  • Front.lift
    MORENCI student Dalton McCowan puts everything into a dead lift attempt Saturday morning during the Wyseguy Push/Pull event. Lifters helped raise more than $1,600 for the family of the late Devin Wyse, a former Morenci power-lifter who graduated last year. Commemorative T-shirts are still available by contacting teacher Dan Hoffman.
  • Front.make.three
    FROM THE LEFT, Landon Wilkins, Ryan White and Logan Blaker try out their artistic skills Saturday afternoon at the Morenci PTO’s first Date to Create event. More than 50 people showed up to create decorated planks of wood to hang from rope. The event served as a fund-raiser for miscellaneous PTO projects. Additional photos are on the back of this week’s Observer.

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