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Board okays $100K donation to Brookwood

By Pat Maurer
Review Correspondent

Members of the Varsity Girls’ Basketball team were honored at the Clare Board of Education meeting Monday. Team members that could attend the meeting are shown here with Coach Matt Rodenbo.

Members of the Varsity Girls’ Basketball team were honored at the Clare Board of Education meeting Monday. Team members that could attend the meeting are shown here with Coach Matt Rodenbo.

The Brookwood 2.0 project will be $100,000 richer after Monday night Board of Education meeting.
The board gave its consensus to allow two ad spots on the field to portray the American Flag and words “In God We Trust” in each one. The ads, each six yards tall and seven yards long, are a condition of an anonymous group’s upcoming donation of $100,000 to the Brookwood 2.0 project to upgrade the football field.
Pummell said she had contacted the Michigan High School Athletic Association and they didn’t have a “regulation that would make it an issue.”  She said the school attorney that “in combination with the flag, the saying is non-secular,” although “anyone can file a lawsuit.”
All but one of the board members supported accepting the donation and allowing the ad.
Board President Tom Weaver said, “I have no problem with it personally, but it’s a big decision. Dick Shively said he didn’t have a problem either. Steve Stark said, “I’m with Dick.” Dave Maxwell agreed saying, “I would say we pursue it. It is in the best interest of our athletes.”
Ben Browning said, “I think it’s a great idea. It is ridiculous that we have to be concerned.” Carol Santini also agreed saying, “I don’t have a problem. We are all Americans and it says that on every dollar bill.”
Sue Murawski was the only dissenting board member. She said, “Personally I think it is a wonderful thing and I have no problem personally, but as a board member I can’t (support it). I have to voice my concern that the risk (of a lawsuit) is there.”
Brookwood project chair John Punches told the board, “We have pretty special people here in the school, on the board and in the community.” He said the total raised so far is $258,000 and another $65,000 has been committed for next year. “We are lucky to be following people who have done this before – when I was in school and we had a great complex.”
In another matter, Clare’s head football coach Kelly Luplow was honored at the Clare Board of Education meeting Monday evening. Luplow was inducted into the Michigan High School Football Association Coaches Hall of Fame March 23.
During his 32 years of coaching at Clare, Luplow’s teams have claimed 220 wins. He has also been named Regional Coach of Year six times and was named Division 5 State Coach of the Year in 2009. He was also West All Star Coach in 2007 Detroit Lions Coach of the Week in 2003 and was named Jack Pine Conference Coach of the Year 11 times.
He led Clare to four District Championships, the Semi-Finals in 2000, State Finals in 2009, 14 Jack Pine Conference Championships in the past 13 years, and five Academic All-State Team Awards.
Currently Luplow has served as Scholarship Chair for the MHSFACA for 12 years and is this year’s First Vice President of the MHSFA. Monday evening he announced he will be the President of the MHSFA next year. “I feel incredibly honored,” he said.
The Varsity Girls’ Basketball Team shared the spotlight with Luplow Monday evening. Team members were all presented with certificates honoring them not only for this year’s successes but for their outstanding record overall.
They are this year’s District and Regional Champions and played with the State Quarterfinals recently. Coach Matt Rodenbo said they have an overall record of 23-2 wins and their three year Jack Pine Conference record stands at 42-0. “We really appreciate all of the community support,” Rodenbo said.
Team members include Lindsay Winter, Alex Stark, Tara Pummell, Amanda Yats, Haley Pulcifer, Melissa Benchley, Ashley Petree, Courtney English, Kodi Humphrey, Paige Onstott, Liz Fancon, Corinne Wezensky and Olivia Cooper.
He noted upcoming fundraisers including a May 10 Murder Mystery, a July Golf Outing and an August 17 Pig Roast. “We have had donations from other states and even from two soldiers serving in Afghanistan.”
Other business at Monday’s board meeting included:
*A presentation by Teachers Jason Koch and Dave Gould on the May 11 “Pioneering a Fourth Grad Tradition event at Jay’s Sporting Goods where public presentations will be spotlighted on students’ studies and research projects about Michigan Wildlife Ecosystems and Environment. The event, open to the public will have public presentations from 9 to 10 a.m. with hands-on learning stations scheduled from 10 a.m. to noon. Both students and parents will be involved.
*Following a discussion of the superintendent’s annual evaluation, the board voted unanimously to extend her contract through June 30, 2015.
*During the Sports Boosters Report, Dennis Carmoney reported that to date the Boosters have donated a total of $415,000 to the school with the help of great leaders. “Now we are doing another huge project and we have great leadership,” he said.
*The board also heard reports from the Education Boosters, who are looking for more help, and the Band Boosters, who noted that the high school band will participate in the State High School Band Festival May 3rd, and that the Spring the High School Concert will be May 10th and the Middle School Concert will be May 15th.
*In her report to the board, the Student Body Representative reported that the school will hold their first school Relay For Life on May 17-18 at the track.
*New part-time Special Education Paraprofessional candidate Jennifer Viers was approved by the board.
*Business Manager Lynn Graham was authorized to sign an agreement for the fifth year of a five-year contract with Chartwells as the food service provider.
*The board approved a resolution naming Steve Stark as representative and Carol Santini as alternate at the Clare-Gladwin RESD Board election.
*The board went into closed session to discuss Clare Education Association negotiations.
*Monthly bills totaling $148,726 were approved.

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