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C-L-K board president resigns after 26 years

August 15, 2012
By KURT HAUGLIE - DMG writer ( , The Daily Mining Gazette

CALUMET - A long-term member of the Public Schools of Calumet, Laurium & Keweenaw announced her retirement from the board during its regular meeting Tuesday.

President Karen Johnson said she's moved from the district and Tuesday was her last day on the board after 26 years.

Johnson said during her time on the board she's worked with three superintendents and many other school officials and teachers.

Article Photos

Kurt Hauglie/Daily Mining Gazette
Karen Johnson, left, former president of the Public Schools of Calumet, Laurium & Keweenaw Board of Education, receives a plaque from new President Robert Erkkila Tuesday recognizing her 26 years serving on the board. Johnson resigned from the board because she moved out of the district.

"I can't even count the administrators," she said.

She very much enjoyed her time working with the district, Johnson said, but she's moving on.

"It's time to pass the torch," she said.

Johnson became board president in 2000. She was secretary from 1997 to 2000, and from 1986 to 1997, she was a trustee. She works at BHK Head Start.

Darryl Pierce, C-L-K superintendent, said he enjoyed working with Johnson during her tenure as president, and it was always a cooperative relationship.

"You're going to be missed," he said.

Board members approved a resolution recognizing Johnson's resignation from the board, and appointed Vice President Robert Erkkila as president to replace her. Board member Michael Luoma was appointed vice president.

Organizers of the International Guts Frisbee Tournament came to the meeting, also, to thank the board members for the district's support of the tournament, which took place in July.

Tournament organizer and International Frisbee Hall of Fame Curator Dennis Walikainen said the group appreciates the use of the district's football stadium in Agassiz Park for the event.

"We've got the best playing field of all Guts Frisbee," he said. "People like to come up here."

The concession and public address system also enhanced the tournament experience, Walikainen said.

Tom Tikkanen, executive director of tournament promoter Main Street Calumet, said local Guts Frisbee players spend time at local schools demonstrating the sport.

"The intention is to recruit young players," he said. "It's been very successful."

Pierce said the partnership for the tournament has worked well.

"It's a great relationship between the school and the group," he said.

Tikkanen said out-of-area tournament participants stay in Calumet during the tournament, and businesses from Copper Harbor report increased revenues during the tournament.

"It's a big boost for them," he said.

Tikkanen said the International Guts Frisbee Tournament is his favorite MSC event.

Although he wouldn't say from where, Walikainen said he's in negotiations to bring in a team from outside the United States to the 2013 tournament.

"We have a good chance to bring an international team," he said.

A check for $500 was presented by the group to the school board to help cover costs of putting on the tournament.

Board members heard from Pierce the district was designated a Reward School by the Michigan Department of Education in its Top-To-Bottom school list.

The designation means the district is in the top 5 percent of high-achieving schools in the state, and it's one of two districts in the Upper Peninsula to get the designation.

Erkkila said the recognition is important for the district.

It is quite an honor to our schools to get these rewards given," he said.

In other business, board members:

approved the hiring of Brooke Parkinen as elementary school teacher, Todd Genelli as special education teacher and Michael Goldsworthy as seventh grade football coach.

accepted the resignation of district network administrator Anton Pintar.

approved working with Good Marks for Schools for substitute teachers, paraprofessionals, secretaries, food service workers, custodial workers and bus drivers.

approved the adoption of a district suicide prevention program for grades six to 12. It will be made part of the health curriculum, with the ability for parents to opt out.

approved using local inspectors for all district construction projects for the 2012-13 school year.



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