Morenci school board 2012.09.19

Written by David Green.

The Morenci Board of Education received an audit report last week that was both positive and negative. There’s no problem with accounting procedures, but the numbers don’t look good.

Steve Piesko of the accounting firm Maner Costerisan told the board that business office procedures received a clean, unqualified report, but the approaching deficit situation must be addressed.

The budget for the current school year shows a deficit of $363,000 and a fund balance of only $256,000 to cover the shortfall.

When adapting a negative budget, the district must contact state offices to explain a strategy for getting out of the red.

Two accounting firms were hired in May, one to review the district’s business office and another for the annual audit. The decision was made in an effort to restore confidence in the business office after some school staff members had questioned the accuracy of information and reported past errors.

JOBS—Superintendent Dr. Michael Osborne told the board about a meeting he recently attended with several regional businesses that will be expanding operations. The business owners want qualified employees to fill future job openings.

Osborne said he was told that requirements are not focussed on academic skills as much as work ethic and teamwork abilities.

APPLAUSE–Secondary principal Kelli Campbell reminded board members of the  “Bulldog Applause” program designed to recognize students and staff for “positive acts.” Nomination forms are available at the school and on the school website.

STEAMER—The board voted to buy two smaller steamers for the kitchen to replace a larger one that needs repairs estimated to cost at least $5,000. The new units cost about $7,000 each.

SUPPLIES—The board approved bids from Lightning Quick for gasoline, from Tri-County Fuels for diesel fuel, from Aunt Millie’s for bread products and from Arps for dairy products.

COACHES—Megan Petticrew was hired as middle school cheer coach and Joe Farquhar as seventh grade boys basketball coach.

INSURANCE—Board members approved sending a letter of interest to explore a county-wide purchase of insurance.

  • Front.train
    WRECKAGE—Morenci Fire Department member Taylor Schisler walks past the smoking wreckage of a semi-truck tractor on the north side of the Norfolk and Southern Railroad tracks on Ranger Highway. The truck trailer was on the south side of the tracks
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    SCULPTORS—Morenci third grade students Emersyn Thompson (left) and Marissa Lawrence turn spaghetti sticks into mini sculptures Friday during a class visit to Stair District Library. All Morenci Elementary School classes recently visited the library to experience the creative construction toys purchased through the “Sculptamania!” project, funded by a Disney Curiosity Creates grant. The grant is administered by the Association for Library Services to Children, a division of the American Library Association.
  • Funcolor
    LEONIE LEAHY was one of three local hair stylists who volunteered time Friday at the Morenci PTO Fun Night. Her customer, Aubrey Sandusky, looks up at her mother while her hair takes on a perfect match to her outfit. Leahy said she had a great time at the event—nothing but happy clients.
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    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.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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