Several quality candidates offer to serve on H-PT Schools Board


HOUGHTON — The Houghton-Portage Township Schools Board appointed its newest member Monday, unanimously choosing Amanda Massaway to fill a partial term.

Massaway, who works in retail accounting, will serve out the term of Amy Schrank, who moved to Minnesota.

“It blends both an opportunity to be part of the school district and allows me to maintain my responsibilities as a mom and a full-time corporate worker,” said Massaway, who has three children in the district. “Additionally, this gives me an outlet to make a positive impact.”

Massaway has been a fixture at board meetings, often asking detailed questions during public comment.

“To me, schools create a foundation for a vibrant and successful community, and I want to be a part of organizations that create the community of the future, and so the school was an obvious choice,” she said.

The other applicants for the position were attorney Keith DeForge and engineer Mike Needham, who is also on the Houghton City Council. Board member Buck Foltz conducted phone interviews with the three candidates on topics such as how they think the district is working. He then circulated write-ups of the interviews to the other board members.

“As I’m talking to these folks last week on the phone, I’m thinking, ‘I can’t believe the type of applicant you can have essentially be volunteering for this government role,'” he said. “We’re really a fortunate district.”

Board Trustee Bob Wheeler asked if other board members could be involved in the interview process. Superintendent Klingbeil said board policies specify an interview, but not the method.

In explaining his recommendation, Foltz pointed to Massaway’s greater degree of participation with the board. Foltz encouraged district residents who might be interested in serving on the board to attend meetings.

“When you look around this room, this is an involved district, and I think that the best way to be a part of it, is to get involved,” he said.

As an appointed position, the seat will go on the ballot at the next regular election in November 2018. Massaway said she intends to run.

If elected, that would extend the term to 2020, when Schrank’s would have expired.