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Farwell BOE 5/21/12

With the school year drawing to a close, Farwell’s Board of Education spent much of their meeting Monday night applauding student achievement.

Zachary Holley demonstrated the LEGO robot that he, Travis White, and Nick Saupe built for the Robot Challenge, a competition between the Learning Centers at Beaverton, Harrison, Gladwin and Farwell schools.

“It’s basically a computer, and you’ve got a bottom motor here, and then two other motors that run the claw.  And this bottom one runs the wheels to push it forward and back,” Holley explained.  The challenge was to pick up an ornament placed on a piece of foam at one end of a piece of paper, and put it into a plastic cup at the other end of the paper.

Other Learning Center competitions included making a bridge out of balsa wood, which was a project Haley Thornton engineered that held 225 pounds without breaking, and a chili cook-off, which Farwell’s Garrett Henry won.

Young Authors winner, 4th Grader Caleb Pitts, brought his book and metal for the Board to see.  Pitts told the Board it was the third book he had written.  The Young Authors program is sponsored by the Farwell Women’s Club.

Assistant High School Principal/Athletic Director Ryan Cunningham announced students of the Month for both April and May.  April’s Students were:  Jordan Renner, freshman; Trent Marhofer, sophomore; Michael Coronado, junior; and Lyndsay Ruckle, senior.  May’s Students of the Month were:  Maria Murphy, freshman; Tia Brickner, sophomore; Shane Cox, junior; and Zeon Turner, senior.

Cunningham read a letter from Baseball Coach Erik Schunk, who was unable to attend the meeting.  Schunk received a grant awarded from the Michigan Baseball Foundation of  $2300 to install safety caps on top of the fence at the varsity baseball field.  “With this year’s grant monies, it will allow the baseball field to finish one phase of its renovations, and bring the facilities up to standards required to host district and regional events,” Cunningham read from Schunk’s letter.

Cunningham also announced that there were nine Farwell athletes that qualified for MSHA State finals June 2nd at Comstock Park. “Obviously, we’ve had some really good things going on this spring, and I imagine we’re going to have a pretty good showing at the State finals, if things keep going the way they have been.  I think we’re going to be bringing home some hardware,” Cunningham told the Board.

Mr. Bob First, Dean of Students at Timberland Alternative Education, announced that 23 seniors graduated from Timberland at their ceremony Friday night, and that all of those students received a regular high school diploma consisting of 27.5 credits.  “Timberland graduation is always just so much fun,” Board member Terry Ellenwood commented.  Superintendent Carl Seiter added, “As educators, we always talk about building relationships with kids.  It was just heartwarming to see every one of those kids went across that stage and they weren’t shaking Bob’s hand, they were giving him bear hugs.”

Seiter continued, “I did have the opportunities to attend several events, and I kind of got a little taste of what the principals go through these last few weeks as far as every night, every day, all the activities.  I commend the job that they’re doing. It’s amazing that they stay sane through this whole process the last couple weeks.”

Liaison Officer Erica Vredevelt reported on several efforts going on in the schools regarding anti-bullying programs. She also reported on the recent Teen Summit, saying, “In the morning, it was kind of chaotic, but I think it turned out to be a pretty good success.  A lot of kids came forward, had a lot of talking.”

During the business portion of the meeting, the Board voted unanimously to:

*approve the operational invoices in the amount of $536,812.81.

*accept a donation from the Midland Area Community Foundation for $1,905 to support the Teen Summit.

*accept a donation from the Clare Police for $500 to support the Teen Summit.

*approve the RESD general and special education budgets for 2013.

*approve the June 12 –19 student trip to Mexico, as presented by Sean Hill.

*renewed Chartwell’s contract for food service for the 2012-2013 school year.