HOUGHTON - The Houghton-Portage Township Schools Board of Education approved the resignation of board member Mark Mohler at its regular meeting Monday.
Mohler, who has been on the school board for three years, will be moving to Minnesota. His resignation is effective Dec. 31.
"Mark has been a phenomenal board member over the years and we appreciate what you've done for us, and we wish you a lot of luck in Minnesota," Board President Buck Foltz said.
Stephen Anderson/Daily Mining Gazette
Houghton-Portage Township School Board of Education President Buck Foltz, left, thanks board member Mark Mohler, right for his three years of service to the board, as board member Bob Wheeler listens in. Mohler’s resignation due to a move out of the area was approved at Monday night’s regular meeting in the elementary school library.
"I always planned on moving back to Minnesota after the kids have graduated, and that time is here," Mohler explained after the meeting.
Superintendent Doreen Klingbeil said this morning a replacement will need to be appointed by the board, and that person would serve until the November 2014 election.
"We are seeking qualified and interested candidates," she said via phone. "They may submit interest in writing to the superintendent. The board will review all interested candidates and they will appoint someone."
While the board can call a special meeting to take action, Klingbeil expects a new board member to be appointed at the regular Jan. 21 board meeting, which will take place in the high school board room.
Also during Monday's half-hour-long meeting in the elementary library, the board:
approved a standard resolution to request summer tax collections from both the City of Houghton and Portage Township.
"We do this every December. You have to do it by Jan. 1," explained Business Manager Randy Ricchi. "If you don't do this, you can only levy a winter tax, which would really cause a shortfall in cash in the summer."
discussed the first reading of October/November NEOLA policy updates. The second reading and adoption of updates is scheduled for Jan. 21.
approved the hiring of junior varsity boys' basketball coach Frank Bonacorsi and assistant girls' swimming coach Freya Carmen. Athletic Director Bruce Horsch also noted during the meeting that until last night winter varsity sports teams had only lost one event.
heard a report from Superintendent Doreen Klingbeil, saying attendance has been about 90 percent, so recent local illness problems haven't affected the district too much.
"It's pretty hard for a bigger school to hit (75 percent), but that's something we'll monitor this week," she said. "The year we had the H1N1 outbreak, we didn't get close to that number."
Klingbeil also said she had received quite a bit of positive feedback about the school's efforts to promote safety, taking into account last Friday's tragic events in Connecticut.
"It's a very sad situation ... but I'm getting some good correspondence from parents," she said.
heard an administrative report from High School Principal Julie Filpus.
She said close to 50 percent of parents had attended parent-teacher conferences, and student absences lately have been under 15 percent, in light of several local districts canceling due to illness. She also noted there are 97 students in choir, which is almost a quarter of the student population. The choir performed several Christmas carols for the board before caroling around town.
Board member Bob Wheeler also asked Filpus how she was balancing her principal duties along with being varsity girls' basketball coach.
"I actually have a graduate helping me, a volunteer assistant, and between those two people and the JV and freshman coaches, in terms of the time issue, they're always there to cover if I can't be there," Filpus said. "It's been, I think, something I've been able to balance. ... I thank you for the opportunity of letting me try this, and in the next year or two I will just keep evaluating it and seeing how it goes."
heard a report from Elementary Principal Pat Aldrich updating the board about family physics night and the winter concert, which have already passed, and the upcoming Jan. 10 geography bee.
heard high school students had raised $2,800 for Toys for Tots.