Gwinn Area Community School Board Minutes


FEBRUARY 20, 2012

The following Gwinn Middle School students were named Students of the Month for February: Mr. Ryan Johnson & Ms. Courtney Murdock – 7th grade; Mr. Scott Caron & Ms. Chandler Jones – 8th grade.

Ms. Kayla Dishon was named Gwinn High School’s “Student of the Month” for February.

The Board heard the following public comment:

  1. Riley Purcell – asked how the District would be improving their current anti-bullying policies to comply with the recent anti-bullying legislation

  2. Joelle Olsen – encouraged the Board to re-evaluate the current make-up of the Board athletic committee

Claims in the amount of $512,969 were approved for payment.

District News

Gilbert Elementary School

  • Congratulations to the following January Students of the Month: Sofia Orchard & Bryan Copley (Kdg.); Xander Luoma & Lena Pleaugh (1st); McKenna Thomas & John Barrett (2nd); Halle Beauchamp & Sage Gelmi (3rd); Chloe Norman & Emily Mannor (4th); Sidney St. Clair & Emily Wasilewski (5th); Jay Kimsel & Morgan Johnson (6th).

  • Thanks to David Gill for doing two sessions of his “Musher” assembly for us.

  • Congratulations to Mr. Gill for placing 2nd at the UP 200 sled dog race over this past weekend.

  • Congratulations to the following students for their performance in the GACS District Level Spelling Bee: 5th Grade Champion –Taylor Jancsi; Runner-up –Hannah Noel; 6th Grade Champion –Isaac Redlon; Runner-up – Samantha Duvall.

  • Congratulations to the following classrooms for winning the “Golden Awards!” in January:

  • The “Golden Whistle” Award for best behavior on the playground: Mrs. Lorens, Mrs. Anderson, & Mr. Gill

  • The “Golden Spatula” Award for best behavior in the lunchroom: Mrs. Goldsworthy, Mrs. Dunham, & Miss Lantagne

  • The “Golden Plunger” Award for the neatest classroom: Mr. Harrison, Miss Sivula, Mrs. Jancsi, & Mrs. Anderson

  • Our next PTO meeting will be held on Wednesday, March 7th at 6:30 p.m. in the library.

KI Sawyer Elementary School

  • Congratulations to the following Students of the Month: Amelia McGeshick & Celeste Morgan (Kdg.); Nicholas Shiner & Skyler Smith (1st); Morgan Palmer & Steven Mulari (2nd); Jacob Harnick, Kaylie Washburn & Jagger Holm (3rd); Nicholas Lightford & Morris Barnes (4th); Nate Belongia & Faith Tosch (5th); Alesia Juarez & Noah York (6th).

  • We had 69 visitors, including parents and grandparents, at our school on February 13th for “Be our Guest Day.” Some guests also joined us for lunch with their child. We had some nice positive comments from parents about how much they enjoyed being at school!

  • David Gill, first grade teacher at Gilbert and area musher, presented an assembly on dog mushing for our students. His program is always well-received, as he brings his sled, a dog, and lots of pictures!

  • Our CAPP (Coaches for Academic Progress Program) has seen some success! Of the 7 students that started the program this fall, three just graduated! We celebrated with a graduation party, complete with invited parents and a cake for each student! We are proud of how these students have become independent in getting organized, in studying, and in getting their work done!

  • We will be hosting the Regional Spelling Bee on February 21st. Competitors in grades 5-8 from area schools will be competing for a spot to spell in the UP Final Spelling Bee in March.

  • At our upcoming PD Day on February 23rd, teachers will be looking at the item analysis results for math and planning instruction towards our weak areas based on student test scores.

Gwinn Middle School

  • Congratulations to the Gwinn Middle School Chorus who received a Division I rating on their recent performance at Solo & Ensemble.

Gwinn High School

  • Congratulations to creative writing students Kacy Cannon, Alex Pastor, Jessie Smith, and Shianne Teeple who all received an honorable mention for their writing in the Midwest Region Scholastic Art & Writing Awards. Congratulations also to Cheyenne Patron-Anderson who received an honorable mention for a photograph she submitted. The Scholastic Art & Writing Awards has celebrated its 87th year and is one of the most prestigious awards programs for teenage writers and artists. 1,600 pieces of writing and 3,700 art entries were entered in the Midwest Region for the 2012 competition.

  • Congratulations to the GHS Chorus, Men’s Ensemble, Chorale Women’s Ensemble, and the Chorale Mixed Ensembles who all received Division I ratings on their recent ensemble performances at Solo & Ensemble.

  • Further congratulations to the GHS Chorale Women’s Ensemble, Chorale Mixed Ensemble, and soloist Erica Sanford on being chosen to perform at the Superior School Music Association Honors Concert held on February 12th at Reynolds Hall at NMU!

  • Congratulations to the Science Olympiad team who placed 5th out of 12 teams at a recent competition at NMU.

  • We will host the Girls Basketball District tournament with two games on February 29th starting at 6:00 pm with Westwood against Ishpeming followed by Gwinn against Negaunee. The District Final will be on March 2nd at 7:00 pm.

  • The Michigan Merit Exam will be held for all juniors on March 6, 7 and 8.

Superintendent VanDrese reviewed minutes from the recent Curriculum, SEHAC and Athletic Committee meetings. Ms. VanDrese also gave a brief update on various topics including: MEAP scores, Governor Snyder’s proposed budget, the success of the GMS/GHS “From the Heart” store, Gilbert Elementary School 1st grade teacher David Gill’s recent 2nd place finish in the UP Sled Dog race, KIS Elementary School Principal, Sandra Petrovich’s recent designation as the AmeriCorps Site Supervisor of the Month for February 2012, and an update from the GMS/GHS Health Clinic.

Superintendent VanDrese updated the Board on Excellence in Education Week which will be April 22-27, 2012. Congratulations to the following students and their influential educators: Jacob Wells (Darren Sinnaeve), Alexzandra Sales (Shannon Ruiz), Kara Wixtrom (Darren Smith), and Karly Njust (Shannon Ruiz), as well as the District’s Professional Development grant winners David Dagenais (band/choir teacher, GMS/GHS) and Connie Usher (5th grade teacher, KI Sawyer Elementary).

Superintendent VanDrese recognized Kevin Luokkala, Duane VanDrese, Sandy Petrovich, Bruce Matson and Kristen Peterson in honor of Michigan’s Principal’s Week, February 13-17, 2012.

Mrs. Connie Sather, 3rd grade teacher at Gilbert Elementary School, was honored as the District’s “Teacher of Year for the 2011-12 school year. Superintendent VanDrese congratulated and presented her with a plaque recognizing her outstanding accomplishments.


GHS English teachers, Heather Hollands and Amy Laitinen, presented the Board with information about their upcoming trip to Poland and Israel. Made possible by fellowships from the Holocaust Educators Network, a program sponsored by the Memorial Library in NYC, Mrs. Hollands and Mrs. Laitinen will join 16 other educators from across the US will travel on an educational tour of historical sites in Poland and Israel from March 24 – April 4, 2012.

The Board took action on the following:

  • Approved the District’s 2011-12 amended budget, which shows a $762,766 General Fund balance as of June 30, 2012.

  • Set a special Board meeting for Monday, February 27, 2012 at 5:30 p.m. Agenda items will include the election of Board officers and Board Committee assignments.

  • Approved a resolution to amend Board By-Laws and switch board member terms from 4 year terms to 6 year terms and approve the board member rotation schedule, beginning in 2012.

  • Approved a contract between GACS and Wells Township Schools for reimbursement to Wells Township for transportation costs for Wells Township high school students attending GHS.

  • Authorized the Superintendent to schedule a data-driven strategic planning session with MASB.

  • Approved the newly revised Superintendent Evaluation Tool.

  • Approved the GHS Spanish Club’s request to sponsor a 5K Cinco de Mayo fun run fundraiser on May 5, 2012.

  • Approved the purchase of a reach-in cooler from Reinhart Food Services at a cost not to exceed $4,740.

  • Approved the following student trips as Board-sponsored activities:

  1. GHS CADD class trip to Milwaukee, Wisconsin, on April 12-13, 2012

  2. GMS Student Council trip to Mackinac Island, Michigan, on May 11-13, 2012

        • Accepted the resignations of the following personnel:

  1. Rebecca Crouse – LRE paraprofessional, KI Sawyer Elementary School, effective date of resignation – January 25, 2012

    • Accepted, with great appreciation, the following gifts and donations:

        1. Donors Choose

          1. $2,003.79 in various classroom supplies for Shannon Ruiz’s English and French classes at GHS

          2. $789.01 in various classroom supplies for Amy Laitinen’s creative writing class at GHS

        2. Negaunee Elks Lodgedictionaries for each 3rd grade student, teacher, the office and library at Gilbert Elementary School




FEBRUARY 27, 2012

The Board heard the following public comment:

  1. Paul Vincent – asked the Board Athletic Committee to take a serious look at the District’s athletic programs

The Board took action on the following:

  • Elected Board Officers for 2012 as follows:

President – Ronald Libey

Vice President – Ruth Spade

Secretary – Gloria Bigelow

Treasurer – Michelle Dolby

Board President Libey then distributed copies of the 2012 Board Committee listings before adjourning the meeting.