By Cathy Taylor
The Harrison Board of Education’s March meeting was held last Monday evening . All Board members were present with the exception of Board Treasurer Dan Pechacek.
It was brought to the attention of the Board by President Marie Roth that the Curriculum, Athletics and Student Activities Standing committee has not met for several years. Board members Connie Cauchie, George Gallo and Angie Cullen have expressed interest in reviving the committee once again.
Roth stated, “In view of our recent scores, I think it would really be helpful if that committee started meeting again. They could delve into some of the issues we are having as to why our scores are down.”
Roth also announced that the Policy and Planning committee has finished the final draft of the 5000 NEOLA policies.
During the public participation portion of the evening, Harrison resident Dale Ecklin addressed the Board with concerns about the negative treatment his daughter has endured in her 5th grade classroom. He stated that he pulled his daughter out of the school system about two weeks ago because the situation has become worse. He mentioned he has approached various staff members of the school in an effort to remedy the situation, but he feels that his pleas and requests are being ignored.
Harrison resident Michelle Haskins, who had addressed the Board concerning safety issues at a previous meeting, asked for an update as to what progress was made concerning the safety of the children while at school. Ms. Haskins also issued a request for the Board to consider either moving the public comment portion of the proceedings to the end of the meeting or schedule a second public comment time at the end. President Roth assured Haskins that this will be given serious consideration.
Harrison Schools Superintendent Thomas House gave an update concerning the recent efforts to provide additional safety measures for Harrison schools. He mentioned that the IT department has provided him with prices for five additional cameras to be installed at various entry points at the schools. House stated that the cameras will cost significantly less than what he had originally anticipated. He will now approach the Administration for permission to purchase the cameras.
House also reported that all of the Harrison school principals are cooperating with his request to re-implement the use of badges in the schools. All school employees, staff, contractors and visitors will be required to stop at the office to obtain an identification badge to be worn at all times while on the school property.
All school principals have also been asked to work on individual school evacuation plans. According to House, “Over the years there have been plans established but they were not always used. All of these plans need to be and will be revisited. All of our principals have been notified to follow through on this.”
The Board of Education also recognized Harrison High School Junior Quincy Jones and sophomore Chase Howey for their first and second place respective wins at the Michigan High School Athletic Association Bowling Tournament held in Cheboygan. Both boys concluded the tournament with 211 averages. Also recognized but not present for the meeting was Dylan Laporte.
The Board also recognized several teachers for successful completion of their first, second and third years of probationary teaching. Acknowledged were Lacey Benton, Julie Bentley Andrew McMillan, Kim Nichols, Jennifer Pashak, Adam Smith and Travis Veit for completing their first year of successful teaching. Lynda Crawford was recognized for completing her second year. Joe Ashcroft and Shannon Haines were commended for completing their third year of successful teaching.
The Board also accepted with regret a letter of intent to retire from long time Harrison school teacher Sharon McNutt. It was agreed by all that she will definitely be missed.