Morenci, Hudson agree to shared superintendent 04.14.10

By DAVID GREEN

It didn’t take the Morenci Board of Education long to make its decision: Dr. Michael Osborne now belongs to Morenci, as well as Hudson.mike.osborne.jpg

The Hudson board voted 6-1 Monday night to join with Morenci in a shared superintendent agreement. One board member cast a “no” vote, claiming the process was rushed.

Morenci board members also voted Monday and unanimously approved a contract.

The new arrangement was to take effect the next day and Osborne spent his first day in Morenci Tuesday (yesterday).

The contract that each board signed calls for Osborne to serve both schools through the end of the 2010-11 school year, at which time the arrangement will be evaluated. Neither district has the right to opt out of the agreement during the initial contract.

Osborne will spend two days a week in Hudson and two in Morenci, on the average. The fifth day of the week will alternate between the two districts.

Osborne noted the state is going through one of the most challenging periods of time in many years, and unfortunately, one of the most difficult years is approaching.

“I really applaud both school boards for even being willing to consider this,” he said. “We do hope it’s the right thing to do.”

Both boards realize how important school districts are to a community, he said. The sharing plan will save money, benefit the schools and keep the identity of both districts.

He praised the collaborative effort between the two schools.

“I’m really excited about this opportunity to work more closely with Morenci’s board,” he said. “There’s a lot of work to do and tomorrow morning we’re going to get started on that right away.”

Osborne praised the efforts of Morenci’s high school principal Nate Parker who served in that role as well as taking on extra duties as interim superintendent.

Morenci board member Dwight Mansfield said he’s talked to a lot of people in the Hudson area and he’s heard nothing but complimentary remarks about Dr. Osborne.

“We’re privileged and fortunate to have you here with us,” he said.

Mansfield looks forward to continuing work with Hudson for other collaborative efforts.

Audience member and teacher Sally Kruger thanked the board for its actions.

“I want to commend you for being creative in your thinking and being open-minded,” she said.

She also praised how the entire process was carried out in an open manner.

“I think we’ve started something,” said board member Phil McCaskey. “I think others were just waiting for someone else to do it.”

Since the discussion between Morenci and Hudson got underway in February, several other districts have discussed making changes, he said.

LAWN BID—Morenci board members voted to award the school’s lawn care bid to T&R Total Lawn Care of Morenci. The two-year pact goes through March 31, 2012.

Board president Scott Merillat thanked T&R owner Micah Borton for his assistance with maintenance needs on short notice.

Merillat noted that Morenci and Hudson worked together on the bid process but decided to hire separate lawn care firms.

Osborne saw this as a positive step, showing that the boards can work together but still maintain independence.

  • Front.web
    NICE WORK—A spider remains at the center of a web, awaiting visitors, during a moist morning last month. The was built in front of Eagle Funeral Home in Morenci.
  • Front.bridge Cross
    STEP BY STEP—Wyatt Stevens of Morenci makes his way across a rope bridge Sunday during the Michigan DNR’s Great Outdoors Jamboree at Lake Hudson Recreation Area. The Tecumseh Boy Scout Troop constructed the bridge again this year after taking a break in 2016. The Jamboree offered a variety of activities for a wide range of age groups. Morenci’s Stair District Library set up activities again this year and had visits with dozens of kids. See the back page for additional photos.
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    LEADING THE WAY—The Morenci Area High School marching band led the way across the pedestrian bridge on Morenci’s south side for the annual Labor Day Bridge Walk. The Band Boosters shared profits from the sale of T-shirts with the walk’s sponsor, the Morenci Area Chamber of Commerce. Additional photos are on the back page.
  • Front.eclipse
    LOOKING UP—More than 200 people showed up at Stair District Library Monday afternoon to view the big celestial event with free glasses provided by a grant from the Space Science Institute. The library offered craft activities from noon to 1 p.m., refreshments including Cosmic Cake from Zingerman’s Bakehouse and a live viewing of the eclipse from NASA on a large screen. As the sky darkened slightly, more and more people moved outside to the sidewalk to take a look at the shrinking sun. If you missed it, hang on for the next total eclipse in 2024 as the path comes even closer to this area.
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    THE MAYOR—Cecil Schoonover poses with a collection of garden gnomes that mysteriously arrive and disappear from his property. Along with the gnomes, someone created the sign stating that he is the Mayor of Gnomesville. He hasn’t yet tracked down the people involved in the prank, but he’s having a good time with the mystery.
  • Front.rest
    TAKE A BREAK—Last Wednesday’s session of Stair District Library’s Summer Reading Program ended with a quiet period in a class presented by yoga instructor Melany Gladieux of Toledo. Children learned a variety of yoga poses in the main room at the library, then finished off the session relaxing. Additional photos are on page 7. Area children are invited to visit the library today when the Michigan Science Center presents a flight program at 11 a.m. and roller coasters at 1 p.m.
  • Front.batter
    THE DERBY—Tyler “Smallpox” Flakne of Minnesota’s Home Run League All-Stars goes for the fence Friday night during the National Wiffle League Association’s home run derby in Morenci. This year the wiffleball national tournament moved from Dublin, Ohio, to Morenci’s Wakefield Park. During the derby, competitors had two minutes to hit as many home runs as possible. The winner this year finished with 21. See page 6 and 7 for additional photos.
  • Front.green Screen
    OUT OF THIS WORLD—Elizabeth McFadden and Elise Christle pose in front of the green screen as VolunTeen Noah Gilson makes them appear as though they are standing on the Moon. More photos from the Stair District Library’s NASA @ My Library program are on page 12.
  • Front.fireworks
    FIREWORKS erupt Saturday night over Morenci’s Wakefield Park during the waning hours of the Town and Country Festival. Additional festival photos are inside.