New trustee, issues at Hancock Schools

Kali Katerberg/Daily Mining Gazette The Hancock School Board met Monday to above-average parent and community turnout.

HANCOCK — A new trustee was introduced and several members of the city’s community commented on a number of current issues at Monday’s School Board meeting.

Catherine Jordan was appointed to fill a vacancy on the School Board.

In other changes, the board accepted the retirement and resignation of High School math teacher Doug Wyble. Board president Kevin Kalinec raised the possibility of Wyble continuing to do some teaching after retiring, since the teaching position is difficult to fill.

There were more public comments than usual, with parent Wendy Chynoweth making the first comments about the district’s communications following the shooting threat.

Chynoweth spoke of a need for improved trust and credibility among administration, questioning responses to the student’s threat and urging honesty in staff communication.

Chynoweth also objected to Principal Ezekiel Ohan’s use of profanity on his personal Facebook page.

“It’s not something I want my children to see,” Chynoweth said, also adding she didn’t want the page to reflect negatively on school.

The second commentator was Carol Freeman, who spoke in support of the school’s Junior Reserve Officers Training Corps (ROTC) program and its promotion of student involvement in community events and businesses.

“I think it’s very important that we keep that,” Freeman said. “I would really hope that the board would consider keeping the program for our young men and women.”

The third speaker, a faculty member who did not identify himself, raised concerns over the new parent-teacher conference format.

“A lot of parents came to me with concerns after the fact and during, saying they didn’t really feel comfortable in that setting,” he said.

The objections were to the open setting, where passersby could hear personal conversations.

For this reason, and so parents could see student workspaces, the faculty member expressed a desire to return to the previous in-classroom conference format, even if it was on an alternating basis.