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County Seat Newspaper
of Clare County

BOE Congratulates Student Musician

Board Hears of Student Assault, Voting Rules, Personnel Changes

Posted

HARRISON – Carley Young is a sophomore at Harrison High School, and it would seem also a mighty fine trumpet player. She was recognized at the Oct. 14 Harrison Community Schools Board of Education for her musical accomplishments at Blue Lake Fine Arts Camp, and for being selected from a field of 2,000 students as one of 250 to participate in the Blue Lake International Exchange Program. That means that she will be leaving with the Northern Winds in June for a truly exciting adventure.

Young told the board of her anticipated three-week trip, which will include living with host families and performing their music in various towns in Belgium, Denmark and Germany. She expressed great enthusiasm for the opportunity to travel freely with her host families to see Europe through the eyes of Europeans.

That trip will be expensive, but Young and her family have already held two bake sales and random donations from supporters. [Three additional fundraisers will include an Oct. 26 spaghetti supper at the Masonic Lodge in Harrison; a Nov. 1 bake sale at Jay’s Sporting Goods in Clare; and a Nov. 9 craft sale at the Masonic Lodge in Harrison.

Young and her mother told the board that, to date, nearly $1,000 has been accumulated toward the $6,100 needed to fund the trip – a trip of a lifetime. When board members asked how people can contribute, they were told that donations could be made directly to the family, with checks being payable to “Blue Lake Fine Arts Camp.”

Carley, however, was quick to remind the board members that she writes for the Clare County Cleaver, and donations could be accepted at the Cleaver office. They all wished her the very best of luck in her fundraising efforts, and again congratulated her by awarding her a certificate of recognition which was presented by Chad Hathcock, BOE treasurer and uncle of the recipient.

Immediately after receiving the certificate, Young hurried away to get to her concert – and to continue honing her musical skill. To paraphrase an old Carnegie Hall line: How do you get to Europe? Practice.

Board Hears of Student Assault, Voting Rules, Personnel Changes

 By Dianne Alward-Biery

Cleaver Staff Writer

HARRISON – The Harrison Community Schools Board of Education welcomed its newest member, trustee Kendra Durga, at its Oct. 14 regular board meeting. Durga has been appointed to fill the vacancy created by the departure of former trustee Jackie Woolston.

A point of contention at the previous special board meeting – held for interview and appointment of a new board member – was revisited Monday. It came up at the beginning of the meeting when trustee Roger Peterson informed the board that superintendent Rick Foote had researched Peterson’s insistence that the regulations for the board’s passage of motions is contingent on the motion receiving a majority of the elected and currently serving board members – regardless of whether or not they are in attendance.

Foote said that he found there had been a rules change during the 2017-2018 academic year which made the board majority the only legal way to pass a motion, as Peterson had stated. To wit: If only five of the seven-member school board is in attendance, the simple majority present [three] cannot pass a motion; it must receive a minimum of four affirmative votes.

This awareness immediately affected the board’s action at a previous meeting which had passed with a three-person vote. Thus, when the motion was called to approve the minutes of that meeting, Peterson so moved, with the stipulation that vote be amended as failed. The motion passed, and the failed issue may be addressed again at a future meeting.

Only one person brought forth concerns during Public Participation: the father of a freshman whose child had been assaulted by another freshman. He sought clarification about what was being done, or what he could expect to be done about the situation.

Foote explained that the school is bound legally by the state’s legislation requiring schools to employ “restorative justice” methods – something that was instituted by the state to stem schools’ ability to simply expel problem students. At HHS, that process includes the principal’s ability to suspend a student for up to 10 days, usually starting with a shorter three-to five-day suspension. In this instance, the situation was so severe that the 10-day suspension was issued immediately. Foote said that if a student continues to behave in ways that are harmful to other students, then the issue is moved to his office, and he has the authority to suspend a student for 59 days. If it still continues, then he can bring the student before the school board and a possible determination of expulsion.

In the current circumstance, the student’s attack has been brought to the prosecuting attorney, and a charge of assault and battery filed. In the meantime, the offending student is back in school under the watchful eye of school personnel. HHS Principal Joe Ashcroft likened the situation as akin to having a personal protection order placed against the offending student.

It was noted by the parent that social media is perpetuating the problem, citing Snapchat, Facebook and other things.  Foote agreed, stating that he wishes Facebook had never been invented.

There was further discussion, but the issue may go to litigation, and is therefore not open to further scrutiny in this story.

In other business, the board moved to:

  •  Approve the recommendation of Larson Elementary School Principal Julie Rosekranz to hire Rhonda Sayers as academic interventionist;
  •  Approve the recommendation of athletic director Travis Veit to hire Joddie Gould as Middle School Cross Country coach;
  •  Accept, with regret, the resignation of Chris Fletcher, JV Girls Softball coach;
  • Accept, with regret, the resignation of Bradley Carlstrom, Varsity Boys Basketball coach;
  •  Approve the request of Matthew Cavalieri, Hillside third-grade teacher, for a medical leave of absence; and
  •  Approve the recommendation of Hillside Elementary School Principal Andrea Anders to hire Amanda Evers as Hillside paraprofessional.

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