Morenci school to seek interim superintendent 2013.06.05

Written by David Green.

By DAVID GREEN

It’s still too early for the Morenci Board of Education to come up with a definite plan of action to replace the three administrators who will soon leave the district, but board member seem to agree on one point: an interim superintendent is needed for the immediate future while long-range plans are considered.

Superintendent Dr. Michael Osborne, who is currently shared between Morenci and Hudson, will serve Hudson alone starting in July.

At the regular meeting Monday, board members accepted the impending resignations of secondary principal Kelli Campbell and elementary principal Mary Fisher. Both administrators have found jobs with other districts. Fisher will continue work with the district through the end of July while Campbell will leave at the end of June.

Some board members met with Osborne to discuss possible administrators and Osborne is in the process of calling them to gauge their interest in the job.

Board member Laura Spencer, speaking in a committee meeting, said the ultimate goal discussed at the meetings is to find someone with strong leadership skills. Rather than rush into the hiring process, a known person could be hired to build stability in the short term while long-term goals are established.

“Several names have been suggested, but there’s not been enough time to put together a formal recommendation,” she said.

What’s needed from the board is some direction, Osborne said. Goals need to be formed to lead administrators toward what is trying to be achieved. Talking with candidates for the position might help in writing goals.

“I know there’s interest in the interim role,” said board president Scott Merillat. “It could be for six months, it could be for a year. That person might help with the selection of a long-term administrator.”

 Merillat said he wants an experienced person in the interim role to make sure the district complies with state law. Someone from outside the Morenci district has seen the operations of other districts and may bring new ideas.

A list of interim superintendents was obtained from the Michigan Association of School Boards. Osborne said he’s had calls from some individuals not on the list who are interested in serving the district.

Board member Larry Bruce said the board can’t expect to have a superintendent in the district five days a week. He was told by other interim superintendents that two or three days a week should be sufficient for a district of this size.

Merillat pointed out that one of the complaints made about Osborne is that he was not in Morenci often enough. A “culture change” is needed to accept that, Spencer said.

Spencer believes there is a good pool of candidates both for the superintendent role and the other administrative roles that will have more contact with teachers and students.

“The prime factor is to have someone with an interest in the district,” Merillat said.

If goals are made clear, said trustee Phil McCaskey, an experienced interim superintendent will know the routine and should be able to do the job.

The Lenawee ISD is willing to help the board with creating questions for the interviewing process.

Someone should be named as an interim superintendent by July 1, Osborne said, even if that person isn’t the one that will be hired for the post.

Merillat spoke at the regular meeting about the board’s desire to hire an interim superintendent and continue looking at what could be done in the next year with the other positions.

“In the long term, we have some ideas of where we want to go, but nothing set in stone,” he said.

Many ideas have been collected from staff and community members and some are different from what has been done in the past.

  • Front.little Ball
    Fayette's Demetrious Whiteside (left)Skylar Lester attempt to keep the ball from going out of bounds during Morenci's recent basketball tournament for fourth and fifth grade teams. Morenci's Andrew Schmidt stands by.
  • Front.tug
    MORENCI pep rallies generally end with a tug of war. The senior class entry, shown above, did not advance to the finals. Griffin Grieder, Alaina Webster, Kyle Long and Jazmin Smith are shown at the front of the rope, giving it their best effort.
  • Accident
    FAYETTE resident Patricia Stambaugh, 64, was declared dead on the scene of a single-vehicle accident Friday morning south of Morenci. Rescue units were called around 9 a.m., but as of Tuesday, law enforcement officers had not yet determined the time of the accident. According to Ohio State Highway Patrol, Stambaugh was driving west on U.S. 20 when her Chevrolet Malibu traveled off the north side of the road and down a steep embankment, coming to rest in Bean Creek (Tiffin River).
  • Athletic Fields
    SPORTS COMPLEX—Fayette’s outdoor athletic facilities will include three ball fields for summer recreation leagues at the southwest corner of the school. The baseball and softball fields, along with the running track, will be constructed on the east side of the school. Outdoor athletic fields were not part of the new school project from 2007, but voters approved a $1.4 million levy for a school addition and the sports fields last August. Both projects are scheduled to be complete by July 20.
  • 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.F.band
    TROMBONISTS Jake Myers (left) and Max Baker perform Friday at the annual Senior Citizens Luncheon at Fayette High School. The National Honor Society and the FFA chapter teamed up to serve a meal to area seniors and to provide musical entertainment. Both the school band and choir performed. 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.

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