National Cover Teen named

June 13, 2014 by Administrator · Comments Off 

Anderson’s has named Mendon-area resident Samantha Griffith its 2014 National Cover Teen.

The 18-year-old Griffith was selected after a nationwide contest this past winter.

Troy Ethen, president of Anderson’s, said the annual Cover Teen competition recognizes teens who are leaders in their communities and an inspiration to others.

Griffith has been a member of Mendon’s student council, National Honor Society, prom committee, yearbook editor, basketball, track, equestrian and 4- H.

She also attends Glen Oaks Community College, where she will be enrolled full-time this fall on a full scholarship.

Kalamazoo Promise expands

June 11, 2014 by Administrator · Comments Off 

Kalamazoo Public Schools graduates will have the option to attend 15 private colleges in the state with their tuition paid for through the Kalamazoo Promise next year. The scholarship program has guaranteed full tuition payment for all public universities and community colleges in Michigan for the past eight years. The Kalamazoo Promise is teaming up with the Michigan College Alliance to pay for private colleges. MCA will cover part of the costs that go over and above the money normally spent on public university tuition, using the University of Michigan as the baseline. The announcement was made Tuesday at Kalamazoo College.  (MRN)

Student loans

June 11, 2014 by Administrator · Comments Off 

Nearly 200-thousand Michigan residents will benefit from the recently expanded “Pay As You Earn” repayment plan for federal student loans, according to a report released by the White House. President Barack Obama signed an executive memorandum on Monday expanding eligibility for the program to borrowers with loans made prior to 2011. A report from the White House Council of Economic Advisers and Domestic Policy Group shows about 192,000 of Michigan’s more than 1.5 million student loan borrowers will be affected by the change. The Pay As You Earn (PAYE) plan caps payments at 10 percent of the borrower’s discretionary income, which is defined as the amount exceeding 150 percent of the poverty level for the household, and lowers payments substantially compared to the standard 10-year repayment plan. The plan also moves the forgiveness date for loans not paid back in full to 20 years or 10 years for those in public service jobs.  (MRN)

Lay offs for teachers

June 11, 2014 by Administrator · Comments Off 

With heavy hearts, members of the Mendon Community Schools Board of Education Tuesday laid off three teachers.

A fourth teacher has voluntarily agreed to switch her employment status from full-time to part-time.

The move came despite testimonials from more than 30 people who lamented the situation and loss of quality staff members.

Barring a significant change in student enrollment or the district’s financial state, not returning next year will be Caleb Stephenson, social studies; Andrea Lindsley, special education; and Matt Dague, business and computers. Language arts teacher Megan Sorensen will work in a part-time capacity. All four work at the middle school/high school.

The action will free up about $200,000 in the district’s budget, according to Superintendent Rob Kuhlman.

As was the case one night earlier in Centreville, where its board laid off seven employees, Kuhlman said a declining student enrollment and inadequate funding from the state conspired to leave the board with no other options.

The district, which ended the 2013-14 school year Tuesday, had an official enrollment of 629 students, 36 fewer than the previous academic year. Kuhlman said projections call for a loss of 43 students in 2014-15, putting the district’s enrollment below 600 students.

New high school principal

June 11, 2014 by Administrator · Comments Off 

Three Rivers Community Schools didn’t have to look far to find a new high school principal.

The board of education this week selected Carrie Balk, a seven-year employee with the district. Balk, 35, previously taught language arts and social studies at Hamilton High School before joining the Three Rivers High School staff to teach social studies.

She has served as administrator of educational services the past two years.

Balk’s new position takes effect July 1, as she succeeds Jean Logan. Logan has been selected as the district’s superintendent, replacing the soon-to-retire Roger Rathburn.

Teacher layoffs

June 10, 2014 by Administrator · Comments Off 

Seven Centreville Public Schools teachers will be issued layoff notices, following action taken Monday by the district’s board of education.

After nearly three hours and comments from about three dozen people, the seven-member board cut high school health, agriculture education and junior high language arts positions, and at the elementary level, art, first and second grades, and two fourth-grade positions.

Superintendent Rob Kuhlman provided a financial picture of the district’s fund balance and budget, and said a 61-student loss in enrollment this year compared to last year contributed to the cutbacks.

Board members said the action had to be taken in order to help the district offset its reduction in funding from the state. Kuhlman encouraged the crowd to take up the issue with their elected state officials.

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