BY: SUPERINTENDENT DAN SKEWIS
It is amazing to think that a year has passed since I wrote the opening article for the Miner’s Lamp to begin the 2016-17 school year. A lot has happened in the District during this time, and I am forever grateful to be a part of this amazing school system. With that said, the 2017-18 school year promises to be just as exciting as the years leading up to it. It is my hope that you have had the opportunity to enjoy family and friends during the past couple months. I am sure the summer has re-energized our students, and they are eager to start the upcoming school year. The staff at Negaunee Public Schools is looking forward to seeing both the returning and new students to our District.
The 2017-18 school year will begin on Tuesday, September 5th, with all three buildings having a full day of instruction. The schedule for each building, listed on page 2, are the same as last year, with the exception being the ending time at Negaunee High School.
Before we get started, I want to use this opportunity to express our appreciation to the community on the passing of our Sinking Fund Millage on August 8th. The result of the election confirms my thought of how fortunate our school system is to be a part of such an amazing community. The passing of this Millage will allow the District to focus on long range planning regarding the infrastructure of our buildings. In addition, we can now focus some of the revenue generated from the Sinking Fund to enhance our security systems throughout the District. We can also purchase instructional technology, which will better prepare our students for life after K-12 education.
On the topic of the Sinking Fund, summer is a perfect opportunity to utilize the revenue generated from this Fund to upgrade our District’s facilities. Fortunately, we have been able to take advantage of this time with several projects taking place. Starting at the Middle School, a major renovation was done to the second floor science lab. New flooring, lab tabletops, cabinetry, along with electrical and plumbing upgrades were completed. It will be an entirely new lab when it is finished. At the High School, a major improvement was made to ensure the safety of our students. A new fire alarm system was installed. When completed, the entire school will be on one control panel, making it much easier for school or emergency personnel to locate any issues taking place. It will also contain voice recognition for our disabled students. In addition to the fire alarm system at the High School, the main floor bathrooms have also been renovated. At Lakeview, the greenhouse, which is a component of our elementary science curriculum, has received a facelift. All of the windows have been replaced, along with the brickwork on the outside of the greenhouse. The exterior of the Miner’s Dry, which are the locker rooms at Miner Stadium, was also painted toward the end of June.
Every school year brings several changes to our staff. This could include retiring members, new staff, classrooms moved within buildings, along with other changes. Whatever the changes might be, they continue to be done in the best interest of our students.
The Board of Education and Administration has been interviewing, hiring and/or transferring staff throughout the District. At Negaunee High School, Paula Nebel, Business teacher, retired, which allowed Josh Paquette to be hired as her replacement. Chris Momcilovich, our Band teacher for the last four years, resigned to move closer to family. Jacob Schmeltzer, our new Band Director has already started working with Marching Band, and we look forward to watching the band on Friday nights, this Fall, under his direction. Kim Torreano will be starting the year as a fifth grade teacher, while Mrs. Kus is on leave. Other transfers throughout the District include, Natalie Baroni and Stephanie LeClaire to Kindergarten, Elissa Beacco to fourth grade and Karie Belanger to sixth gade.
This past school year saw three of our custodians retire. We’d like to wish Danny Thompson, A.J. Johnson and Paul Dompierre the best as they entire the next chapter in their lives. To replace these three, we have hired Joe VanBeynen and Luke Anderson. In addition, Antoinette Anderson has also retired from her support staff position at Lakeview.
We look forward to another successful school year and want to thank you in advance for all the support you provide to Negaunee Public Schools and our students.
Superintendent of Schools