It appears Three Rivers Community Schools Superintendent Roger Rathburn will finish his career with the district.
Rathburn and Paw Paw Public Schools Superintendent Mark Bielang were the finalists for the job of superintendent of Portage Public Schools. Portage officials announced Friday afternoon their decision to offer the post to Bielang.
The 50-year-old Rathburn made public last year he would be retiring at the end of the 2013-14 academic year, a plan that appears to remain intact as a result of Portage Schools’ decision last week.
Rathburn, who spent most of his youth as a Portage Public Schools student, has served as Three Rivers superintendent for 12 years.
The Three Rivers Community Schools Board of Education is looking toward the selection of a new superintendent to succeed Roger Rathburn who has announced his intention to retire from his current post in 2014. Since making his announcement, Rathburn has also surfaced as one of two finalists for the position of superintendent for the Portage Public Schools.
The selection issue came in for discussion Monday evening (June 17) when Board President Susan Schmidtendorff asked if a meeting had been scheduled with MASB – the Michigan Association of School Boards – which was contracted in April to assist the district in the selection process. Board Secretary Pete Bennett, chairman of the Human Resources Committee, said, ““No, we don’t because they were going to contact us for this fall to start the process of community involvement. I can give them a call. I was kind of waiting until we find out what’s happening with the white elephant in the room that nobody wants to talk about,” a reference to the potential for an early departure by Rathburn if he is the person chosen for the position in Portage.”
Schmidtendorff said, “I don’t know that we need to wait for that, or whether that plays a part in it.” She suggested having “a core group” of board members and others meet with MASB this summer “where we all sit down and we get a feel for what their process is, what they’re going to expect from us, what we might expect of them, and how that will look on the calendar.” Schmidtendorff asked Bennett to contact MASB and he said he would do so. Since then Bennett has reported that he has arranged for MASB Superintendent Search Consultant Richard Dunham to “start the process at 8:45 a.m. on July 15,” the date of the board’s next meeting. Bennett said, “We will likely develop a timeline for the process at that time, by which we will know for certain whether or not Roger Rathburn leaves us this July or next July.”
The Three Rivers Community Schools Board of Education has adopted the 2013-2014 Preliminary Budget for the new fiscal year beginning July 1.
The action came Monday evening (June 17) following a public hearing during which there were no citizen comments.
The budget projects revenues of $23,781,274 and expenditures of $24, 656,659, thus showing a revenue shortfall of $875,386.
The resolution to adopt the budget also sets various millage levies to support the spending plan:
17.7242 mills for operating purposes on all non-homestead and non-qualified agricultural property
.5 mills for the 2004 debt
.7 mill for the 2007 bond refunding
4.36 mills for the 2008 bond refunding
.54 mills for the 2012 bond refunding.
The total of the debt retirement levies – at 6.1 mills – is down from 6.4 mills last year.
The non-profit, Three Rivers-based organization *culture is not optional (*cino) has completed its purchase of the former Huss Elementary School in Three Rivers.
As noted in a Tuesday (June 11) post on The Huss Project website, “As of today at 3:15 p.m., we signed the final papers and received the deed to the historic Huss School building in Three Rivers, Michigan. Wow!”
The post reports the progress made since the land contract purchase of the property in June of 2009 and the success of “a Brick Campaign to raise $100,000: $50,000 to pay the balloon payment and another $50,000 to renovate a functional room in the building.” It also notes “the incredible support of wonderful people near and far” in helping to meet the first goal of the Brick Campaign.
The Huss Project website says that, “In collaboration with a variety of partners, *cino is working to turn this obsolete property into residential space and a community center emphasizing food, play and the arts.”
Sturgis Public Schools athletics director Mark Adams said the district is expressing an interest in joining the Wolverine Conference athletic league.
Although the concept is in its infancy, Adams said Sturgis is aware the conference is interested in adding at least one other team, with the impending departure of Comstock. A Wolverine Conference meeting is expected to take place next week and the issue of what school might fill Comstock’s void – or whether to add at least three more teams – will likely be discussed.
Adams said Sturgis has sent a letter of interest to Wolverine Conference officials, but he reiterated the idea has a way to go.
The Wolverine Conference includes similar-sized schools as Sturgis, and features Three Rivers, Vicksburg and Paw Paw.
Sturgis is currently a member of the Southwest Michigan Athletic Conference.
Three Rivers Community Schools Superintendent Roger Rathburn is a finalist for the superintendent’s position with Portage Public Schools.
Rathburn, who has been planning to retire from Three Rivers a year from now, is one of a trio of candidates for the Portage post currently held in an interim basis by Rob Olsen.
Portage school officials have indicated first-round interviews will take place next week. A meeting June 14 will narrow the field for second-round interviews June 19 and 20.
The 50-year-old Rathburn, who is finishing his 12th year as Three Rivers superintendent, currently earns more than $129,000 annually.