Two Morenci school offices consolidated 2012.10.31

Written by David Green.


Morenci students, parents and staff learned Friday through the school district’s alert system that a big change was ahead at the high school.

The message stated that when classes resume on Tuesday following a teacher development day, the high school office will be closed, with operations consolidated in the larger middle school office.

The office of assistant principal Phil Stark and secretary Cindy Fankhauser are now both located at the middle school where secondary principal Kelli Campbell has her office. 

Counselor Diana Fallot remains in the old high school office that’s now referred to as the counseling office. She will begin using additional space for counseling. As testing coordinator, she will also have space to store materials and prepare for testing dates.

Secretary Deb Yatzek will work in the high school office in the mornings, Campbell said, and the new student success coach—a position expected to be filled for the start of the second trimester—will work in the corner classroom across from the high school office.

Additional adult supervision will be provided by Campbell and Stark as they continue to split time between the two school buildings.

High school students will enter the building through the east doors only, by the main parking lot. All doors to the school will remain locked at all times after 7:50 a.m. Students arriving late for school, along with parents and other school visitors, must now enter through the middle school front doors and report to the main office.

Discussion about the change began last year, said superintendent Michael Osborne, and was originally scheduled to take effect at the start of the school year. 

Osborne said there are schools of similar size that function with a single office between two buildings and he doesn’t think it’s necessary to maintain two. He believes the adjustment will largely be a matter of accepting a change in the way things have always been. Think about Adrian High School, he said, that has three floors but only a single office.

An administrator couldn’t be in all places at once even when the high school office was open, he said. Teachers must continue to help monitor hallways between classes.

There are some issues that need to be addressed, he said, such as the intercom system. Having the office in the old location probably did prevent some discipline problems, he said, and attention will have to be given toward adequately covering the change.

Osborne sees the potential for cost savings, particularly if the board office is moved to the high school as the board of education has discussed.

“We’re in the process of putting together a deficit elimination plan that will address several areas,” he said. “We’ll put together some options for the board to consider.”

About 75 percent of school revenue goes toward salaries and benefits, Osborne said, and he’s now taking a closer look at the remaining 15 percent.

Negotiations with teachers will be coming, he said, and he wants them to know the administration has looked at all facets of the school in an effort to cut costs.

  • 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.
  • 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.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.

Weekly newspaper serving SE Michigan and NW Ohio - State Line Observer ©2006-2016