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THE CITY REBORN FROM THE ASHES OF AMERICA'S MOST DISASTROUS FOREST FIRE
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Marinette Board Accepts Resignations, New Hires

Resignation of Joel Hanner, long-time head football coach at Marinette High School, was accepted by Marinette School Board on Tuesday, Nov. 16, along with the resignation of assistant varsity football coach Tim Stauss and Lynn Gunderson, a paraprofessional at Merryman Elementary School.

Hanner retired from his teaching duties last spring and now is entirely retiring from his school responsibilities, according to District Administrator Tim Baneck. Board President Scott VandeHei commented after the meeting that Hanner ran a good program and got the kids to play hard, even though they did not have a winning season this year. He coached 22 years at Marinette, posting a 140 and 90 record, including the 1989 Division 2 state championship, and three years at Peshtigo.

Stauss was a long-time defensive coordinator during the Hanner reign. He will continue his teaching duties.

Without dissent the board approved hiring a long list of coaches, including Burl Thyne as head softball coach. Others are John Corry, freshman girls basketball; Paul Boyce, JV girls basketball; Craig Morois, freshman boys basketball; Rob Poetzel, assistant coach, boys basketball; Scott Bell, JV boys basketball; Beth Meyers, 8th grade team leader; Bill Johnston, 8th grade girls basketball; Richard King, 7th grade girls basketball; Timothy Thill, Middle School wrestling, and Tony Dionne, Middle School track and field. Sue Drees was approved for the position of Middle School systems operator.

Following a closed session on Wednesday, Nov. 3, that lasted more than three hours, the board convened in open session and approved without dissent a motion “to accept the resignation, as tendered, effective today, per discussion of the Board of Education during the closed session.” Name of the person who resigned was not listed, nor was the position being vacated identified. Purpose of the closed session was listed as “disciplinary proceeding regarding district employee and Board deliberations regarding same.” Motion to accept the resignation was made by Brian Ceranski, and seconded by Lee Kuntz. Votes in favor were cast by Terri Florek, John LaCourt, Robert Gannon, Cindy Bailey, Kuntz, Brian Ceranski, Marjorie Giese and Lisa Michiels. VandeHei abstained.

Action items at the Nov. 16 meeting included happily accepting a $1,000 donation to the Middle School from an anonymous benefactor. The money is to be used for laptop computers for the alternative education program.

The district did better than expected in terms of the interest rate on a short-term borrowing of $2.5 million, and that offer too was gladly accepted. Bids had been opened earlier in the day and the board unanimously followed the recommendation of Finance Director Pauline Borgen that they accept the low bid of R. W. Baird, with an interest rate of .7583 percent. In her Nov. 9 monthly report Borgen had advised the board that she anticipated borrowing the $2.5 million “very short term,” with payback at about the end of June, 2011. She said other school districts had achieved rates between 1 and 1.5 percent, “and we’re hoping to fall within that range.”

Also as recommended by Borgen, the board unanimously accepted a change in their property insurance policy, going from a $5,000 to $1,000 deductible. Borgen explained with the $5,000 deductible they must report every loss because the number is cumulative, even though they will collect nothing until the $5,000 threshhold is reached. Under the new plan they will submit no claims for any losses under $1,000, and on just one $5,000 claim the district would more than recoup the difference in premiums. As another benefit, the insurance company will not pursue vandalism incidents unless they must cover the loss. With the reduced deductible they will get involved with more minor damage and attempt to recover damage amounts.

Low bid of $49,500 from Tweet Garot to upgrade the heating system at Park School was accepted without dissent.

Tweet Garot also submitted the low bid of $33,300 for upgrading the heating system in the district office building. It was in fact the only bid, and was rejected after Finance Committee Chair Ceranski suggested they wait until summer to see if they get more bidders and a better price, since there is no immediate problem. Motion to accept the bid was defeated, 3 to 6, LaCourt, Michiels and Kuntz in favor of accepting the bid and Giese, Florek, Bailey, Gannon, Ceranski and VandeHei opposed.

A closed session on Tuesday, Oct. 19 included an update on swimming pool repairs, paving the roadway, employment and personnel.

As usual, the Nov. 16 open board meeting was preceded by an hour-long closed session, with specific discussion items not identified other than citing the statutory authority for closed discussions, and no action was taken.

In response to questions after the Nov. 16 meeting, Baneck said they hope to have water in the high school pool by Monday, Nov. 22, and he expects it to be ready for use before the end of November.

The board agreed to sell three “excess vehicles” to high bidder Bill Rydell for a total of $607. For that price he will get a 1992 Ford Taurus, a 1993 Dodge Dynasty and a 1992 Ford F-350 cube van. The other bid, from Brian Potter, offered a total of $177. If not sold the vehicles probably would have been donated for lessons in an auto mechanics class.

The board approved recommendations to hire two additional days per week of speech and language instructors for special education classes at an estimated cost of $28,766, with funding to come from Special Education grant.

There was a “first reading” of the new DPI records retention rule. VandeHei felt in the end the new schedule will be beneficial for the district, “We can now get rid of items we no longer need, which will open storage space.” There were comments that board records must be kept permanently, and proceedings will eventually become part of the school district history.

Board discussion on the district’s “Education for Employment” plan included concern that parents have opportunities to see what classes are available and how they fit into each student’s ultimate plan. Baneck said of a state mandated report , “It’s a kind of report card to see how we are progressing.”

Earlier in the meeting LaCourt, chair of the curriculum committee, had explained they have discussed getting eighth graders to have a plan in place before they start high school, although whatever plan they have can be changed. Baneck said they are starting the “Pathways” program with the six career fields they have selected as fields with high wages, high skill demands and in high demand in this area. They want parents, counselors and students to sit down together and decide what classes they need to meet the criteria in their chosen field. He also pointed out that in high school, particularly in the early years, many of the same classes are required for all. However, he added, “We’re trying to get kids to be more focused on why they sign up for which classes.”

Board member Bailey reported she had worked with Oconto Falls High School a couple of years ago on the Pathways program.

The board was advised Adam DeWitt will join Candi Lehto of Oconto Falls in a presentation to CESA on National Common Core Standards on Tuesday, Dec. 14 at Kelly Lake.

Baneck reported about 200 persons from the community attended the Veterans Day program at the High School, and described it as a very positive event. Senior Citizens Day was also very successful, “Thanks to our wonderful Student Senate.” He praised the Student Senate in general for their “really wonderful participation in school and community events.”

He noted the recent fourth annual Child Development Day had drawn 40 kids and was the largest to date.

VandeHei praised the show choir concert.

Nikki Giese and Mary Bittner were recognized for organizing an elementary level Veterans’ Day celebration at Merryman School.

The board was informed that the parents of the late Dan Derginer, a former teacher, have donated two benches for the memorial to him that was dedicated recently at the Middle School.

Ceranski, as chair of Finance, reported the City of Marinette has asked the district to share 68 percent of the cost of the police liaison officer salary package next year, which will bring the cost from approximately $44,000 to about $60,000 for next year. The committee asked for more information and had no recommendation to make at this time.

Ceranski also reported the district is making good progress on the trust fund they have been getting established in response to a mandate from the community and the balance is now nearly half a million dollars.

LaCourt reported he had looked into the district’s revamped website after a report to his Curriculum Committee by Keran Decamp and found it very user friendly. After viewing websites of other districts he said he likes Marinette’s best and urged other board members to check it out.

Student Senate representative Kevin Smith reported wrestling practice is underway. Basketball season has started and the first game is to be Saturday, Nov. 27.

Despite having the school pool closed for repairs the Swim Team sent six girls to State, Smith said, and at the four events represented there by Marinette the competitors took seventh, eighth or ninth places.

Student Senate had a busy month, according to Smith’s report.

On Halloween many students went out to Trick or Treat For Heat and raised $914.18. A matching fund donation from the Keep Wisconsin Warm Fund brought the total to $1,800 that the fund will use to help families in Marinette County pay heating costs.

The Student Senate’s Senior Citizens Day, with the theme, “Forever Young,” drew 191 senior citizens to enjoy choir, band performances, food and bingo.

The Senate sent 18 members and about 30 Middle School students to Appleton on Monday, Nov. 8 for leadership training.

The Student Senate will be leading two “Dash For Cash” events at basketball games to raise money for the Angel Tree.

In a summary of general school activities, Smith reported:

*Auditions are underway for “The Wiz,” this year’s school musical.

*His Lordship Zac Lowis will preside at the High School Choir’s Madrigal Dinner on Saturday, Dec. 4, and His Lordship Jeff Lewis will preside at the Sunday dinner.

*“There was a moving Veterans Day assembly on Nov. 11, organized by Mrs. Berg and Mrs. Burd featuring a band and choir performance, guest speakers and a duet by recent Marinette High School alumni Kevin Scoggins and Carl Schroeder.

*Numerous students from the district attended the recent Healthy Youth Coalition’s “action troop” training.

LaCourt mentioned fourth grader participation in the Youth Triathalon and said afterward, despite the rain, they stayed to help pick up.


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