Negaunee Public Schools

                                                                                               October 15, 2007


Minutes of the Regular Meeting, of the Board of Education, Negaunee Public Schools, City of Negaunee, County of Marquette, and State of Michigan, held on October 15, 2007, at Negaunee High School.


Members Present: Fae Collins, Dan Hintsala, Osmond T. Kemp, Virginia Paulson, Martin Renaldi, Dave Rice, and Martin Saari


Member Absent:     None


Administrators Present:

James Derocher, Superintendent

Bob Bonetti, High School Principal

Dan Skewis, Middle School Principal

Joe Meyskens, Lakeview Elementary School Principal

Mary Kay Johnson, Administrative Aide for Finance

Julie Dompierre, Recording Secretary


71.       The meeting was called to order by President Martin Renaldi at 7:00 p.m. 


72.       A quorum of the board was established.


73.       Motion by M. Saari, supported by O. Kemp, to approve the agenda with a change in Item 75. The Special Meeting date should have been October 9, 2007.  Motion carried 7-0. 


74.       Public Comment:


Karen Saari, a former Cheerleading Coach, expressed concerns with the elimination of cheerleaders traveling to away games.  Mrs. Saari made many references to the Michigan High Schools Athletic AssociationÕs ŌMentorĶ newsletter.  She also made suggestions on how to reduce travel expenses.


Joellen Kainulainen, a parent, read a letter she had written to the Board regarding out of town travel for the cheerleaders and possible cuts in other sports.


Kathy Baldini, Teacher at Lakeview Elementary School, thanked the Board and Administration for the Professional Development Day held on October 12, 2007.  She also read district e-mails, which commented on how well the conference was run.


Amy Pringle, Cheerleading Advisor, stated she had a casual conversation with  the Athletic Director and Principal in the hallway about changes in the schedule. She stated that the number of girls trying out for cheerleading will decrease if they cannot travel with the boysÕ basketball team.


Ken Niemsto, a parent, suggests that sports be cut from the bottom and that they start at the freshman level. Why was cheerleading targeted?

            Sue Hewitt, a parent, wanted to know when a decision was made to eliminate the travel with the team and why was it not done before the season started?


            At this juncture President Renaldi informed the public that the Board does not respond during Public Comment.  He also thanked the public for their suggestions.


President Renaldi requested that Agenda Item 79. Correspondence be addressed at this time.


75.       Motion by D. Rice, supported by M. Saari, to approve the minutes of the regular meeting held on September 17, 2007, and the Special Meeting of October 9, 2007.  Motion carried 7-0.


76.       Motion by V. Paulson, supported by D. Hintsala, to approve the consent items as

            presented.  Motion carried 7-0.


77.       Payment of Bills and Financial Reports


A.        Motion by F. Collins, supported by M. Saari, to approve payment of bills totaling $578,039.55.  Motion carried 7-0.


B.             Motion by F. Collins, supported by V. Paulson, to approve the Financial Report from the Administrative Aide for Finance, Mary Kay Johnson.  Motion carried 7-0.


78.       Written reports were received from the Community Education Director and Health Coordinator.  Oral reports were received from Bob Bonetti, High School Principal, Dan Skewis, Middle School Principal, Joe Meyskens, Lakeview Elementary School, and Superintendent Derocher.


¯    A letter was received from Karen Saari, a former Cheerleading Coach.


Superintendent Derocher informed the public that during public Budget Hearings in April and May the Board directed the Superintendent to decrease the transfer from the General Fund to the Athletic Department to help balance the budget.


Superintendent Derocher explained that the Administration had devised a plan, in order to cutback on the dollar amount transferred which included, an increase in participation fees and reduction in travel in order to reduce transportation costs.  Since these cutbacks are now affecting how sports are operating Superintendent Derocher urged the public to contract their representatives in Lansing and voice their concerns.  He also reinforced that the student curriculum is first and by far the most important aspect of this school district.  He stated that many more difficult cuts are pending.


President Renaldi once again thanked the public for the comments.


A member of the cheerleading squad asked why were just the girls targeted.


George Savolainen, a parent, asked when did all of this come about.


President Renaldi informed the public that not any special group or sport was targeted and that the Administration was working on the recommendation of the Board. 


Karen Saari, former Cheerleading Coach, requested something be worked out before tryouts in two weeks.


Joellen Kainulainen, a parent, discussed busing costs.


Diane Faust, former Cheerleading Coach, spoke of increasing participation fees.


Superintendent Derocher explained that revenues from sporting events fluctuate depending on weather, the sport, etc.


Lisa Niemisto, a parent, asked if fundraising would relieve the financial situation.


Joe DeBretto, a parent, asked if the more expensive sports could have a higher participation fee. 


Amy Pringle, Cheerleading Advisor, indicated that the girls had money they had raised that could be used for expenses.


A cheerleader explained that the girlsÕ basketball players did not want cheerleaders at their games.


Martin Saari stated that the Superintendent receives his direction from the Board of Education and at the May budget meeting it was determined that a participation fee increase was necessary.  He also stated that any changes concerning athletics should be done through written communication.


Mr. Saari said that before the Coaches request financial help from the Booster Club that both the Coach and Booster Club should review if the request is really necessary.  Mr. Saari also stated that he had concerns with the education of students when they along with the teacher/coach are dismissed from the classroom early on game day.


¯  President Renaldi introduced correspondence he had received from JoAnn Tadgerson concerning volunteers who are willing to fill the position of Lakeview Yearbook Editor.  These individuals processed the yearbook last year and requested the opportunity to complete it again this year if no teaching staff member was interested in applying for the position, which would save the district Schedule B wages.


80.         Old Business:


A.        Aaron Grove, the Wolgast Project Manager, updated the Board on the Lakeview School construction project.  A brief question and answer session followed.  No action necessary.


B.        Motion by D. Hintsala, supported by F. Collins, to appoint Virginia Paulson as the district representative at the MASB Fall Leadership Conference.  Motion carried 7-0.


81.           New Business:


A.            Motion by V. Paulson, supported by D. Rice, to approve payment from the

Sinking Fund in the amount of $39,900.01 for construction fees at the athletic complex concession stand/bathroom buildings.  Motion rescinded 7-0.


          Terry Garceau and Rick Carlson, representatives from the Booster Club, updated the Board on the construction project at the athletic complex.  President Renaldi thanked the Club for all their help.


Motion by V. Paulson, supported by D. Rice, to approve payment from the

Sinking Fund in the amount of $40,495.01 for construction fees at the athletic complex concession stand/bathroom buildings.  Motion carries 7-0.


B.        Motion by F. Collins, supported by D. Hintsala, to approve the use of Sinking Funds to replace the track and reinforce the bleachers at the football field.  Estimated cost of the project is between $216,000 and $251,000.  Motion carried 7-0.         


C.        Motion by V. Paulson, supported by D. Rice, to accept the bid for windows, at the Administration Building, from Window Outfitters of Negaunee in the amount of $34,372.  Motion carried 7-0.


D.         Motion by D. Hintsala, supported by F. Collins, to award the rental bid of snow removal equipment to Fabco in the amount of $6,900 for the 4 months rental of a front-end loader.  This agreement includes 200 service meter hours.  Hours over the 200 hours would be invoiced at $34.50 each.  Motion carried 7-0.


E.          Superintendent Derocher discussed the possibilities of shared services with the Ishpeming and NICE school districts.  No action taken at this time.


F.          The Board was informed, by Superintendent Derocher, that all of the annual reports for the district have been filed per Public Act 25.  The reports have also been filed with Marquette Alger Regional Education Service Agency.  No action necessary.


G.         Superintendent Derocher informed the Board that the fall unaudited student enrollment is at 1,455 students.  No action necessary.


H.         Motion by F. Collins, supported by D. Hintsala, to approve a self funded field trip allowing all of the 4th grade classes to travel to Mackinaw City and Mackinac Island in the Spring 2008.  The Board gave permission for the classes to fundraise for this event.  Motion carried 7-0.


I.           Motion by V. Paulson, supported by O. Kemp, to approve a self funded overnight field trip, which would allow the Negaunee High School Choral group to go to Pembine, Wisconsin, to meet and work with Master Music Teacher Susan McAllister.  Motion carried 7-0.


J.           Motion by O. Kemp, supported by M. Saari, to accept the Administration recommendation and adjust the participation fees for Middle School sports as follows:            Basketball, track, and cheerleading $60.00

                                     Football and cross country $50.00

             Due to a reduction in the schedule.  Motion carried 7-0.        


K.         Superintendent Derocher informed the Board that he had received a letter of retirement from Bob Hill, a Bus Driver.  A letter of thanks has been sent to Mr. Hill.  No action necessary.

L.          Motion by D. Hintsala, supported by V. Paulson, to hire Jamie Johnson as a part-time Title VII Aide at the Middle School.  She will replace Amanda Miljour who received a teaching position in another district.  Motion carried 7-0.


M.             Motion by V. Paulson, supported by D. Hintsala, to approve the following Schedule B positions:


Nancy Olsen                           Lakeview Student Council

Diane Faust                             Lakeview Yearbook Advisor

Mike OÕDonnell                      Head Varsity Boys Basketball Coach

Kevin Jacobson                       Head Junior Varsity Boys Basketball Coach

Jeff Niemi                               Head 9th Grade Boys Basketball Coach

Marius Grazulis                      Head 8th Grade Boys Basketball Coach

Kyle Saari                               Head 7th Grade Boys Basketball Coach

Louis Koskey                          Varsity Volunteer Coach                    

John Argall                             Varsity Volunteer Coach

Gregg Nelson                          Head Varsity Girls Basketball Coach

Tori Sager                               Head Junior Varsity Girls Basketball Coach

Bryon Nelson                          Head 9th Grade Girls Basketball Coach          

Andy Skewis                          Head Wrestling Coach

Ryan Jarvi                               Assistant Wrestling Coach

Jim Skewis                              Volunteer Wrestling Coach

Eyre Becker                             Head Gymnastic Coach

Amy Pringle                            Head Varsity Cheerleading Coach

Maryann Johnson                   Volunteer Cheerleading Coach

Kim Hicks                               Middle School Cheerleading Coach

Leslie Hicks                            Middle School Cheerleading Coach

Sarah Hicks                             Middle School Cheerleading Coach

Tim Gannon                            Head Coach Hockey

Jason Gauthier                                    Volunteer Coach Hockey

            Motion carried 7-0.


Board President Renaldi stressed that the Coaches need to display leadership and their teams should be accepting of other student athletes.  He inquired about the background check/fingerprinting process on coaching staff.  Superintendent Derocher said that all district employees must be fingerprinted by July 1, 2008.


82.              Public Comment:


Karen Saari, former Cheerleading Coach, asked if the Administration could wait one more year before making changes to the cheerleading schedules.


Marty Saari commented that changes should have been made at the beginning of the year not in the middle.


Virginia Paulson mentioned other means of transportation for the cheerleaders.


Diana Faust, former Cheerleading Coach, said she was still confused, was the Board going to change the cheerleading schedule or not.


Marty Saari said the Board was just hearing about this, however, they had advised the Administration to look at ways to cut back on the athletic budget.  He also stated that the Board is not there to micromanage and that the Board is there to listen to the public.


Superintendent Derocher stated his job was to do what the Board asked him to do which was to get more funding into the classroom for the students.


Karen Saari, former Cheerleading Coach, asked if money was available and could this be resolved tonight.


Marty Saari stated that there is a large expense incurred by sending teams to the playoffs.  However, due to a lack of communication this should be looked at next year.


President Renaldi commented that this proposal should be laid out better before next year.  He indicated that the Board requests things of the Administration and when they do them they Board counteracts their decisions.


Osmond Kemp said the Board gives the Superintendent direction and does not want to micromanage and if the Board is going to do that why have a Superintendent.  However, it is unfair to change in the middle of the season.


Terry Garceau, Booster Club Representative, thanked the Board for the money to allow the completion of the athletic complex concession building.  He hoped that the Board would look to cut equally all sports.


Marty Saari commented on how well our student athletic uniforms were compared to other districts.


Fae Collins wanted to know why the girlÕs basketball team was not accepting of the cheerleaders at their games.


Marty Renaldi was astonished that a coach would allow this to happen.


Dave Rice said that the girlÕs basketball coach was not the only coach that has done this.  The football coach also did it when the district won the State Championship.


Superintendent Derocher said all coaches receive a coachÕs handbook and are responsible to follow through on items addressed in the handbook. 


Superintendent Derocher wanted to make it clear that cheerleading was not the only area cutbacks were made. 


83          Other Business:


The Board indicated that they are in support of the traditional girls cheerleading season for the 2007-08 school year.


84.     Motion by O. Kemp, supported by M. Saari, to adjourn the meeting at

10:07 p.m.  Motion carried 7-0.




_______________________________          ________________________________

         Martin Renaldi, President                                   Virginia Paulson, Secretary