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Update to the CCISD board on the green house project

Karyn Juntunen, who has led the green house project, addresses the CCISD board at their regular meeting.

The Copper Country Intermediate School District Board of Education held its regular monthly meeting on Tuesday, Oct. 15, 2019

Karyn Juntunen, Special Education Transition teacher gave an update to the board on the green house project.

The exterior walls of the CCISD greenhouse are now complete thanks to 170 hours of volunteer hours including two Work Bees and the CTE Construction Technology class. Electrical and Mechanical contractors will complete the next phase by installing the lights, security, water, heaters, and ventilation. The CTE Construction Technology class will complete the interior tables, potting benches, and storage in time for planting season.

The greenhouse will provide a greenhouse classroom to ten CCISD classrooms for 90 students with disabilities from kindergarten to adult. The Gierke Blueberry Farm in Chassell is our community partner. Sixty students and twenty-five staff went on a field trip to the farm to pick late-season blueberries, apples, make apple cider, and visit the animals. The Portage Health Foundation (PHF) was taking video and photos of the students at the farm to tell our story as part of the grant funding from PHF.

Interest in the greenhouse has increased now that it is enclosed. Many staff, parents, community members, and administration have approached Juntunen with ideas for the greenhouse and beyond. Juntunen submitted two more grants to honor a few of these ideas from the Lake Superior Stewardship Initiative, and Michigan Transition Services Association. Abbey Palmer, Education Coordinator from the North Farm at UPREC, is scheduled to present at an in-service with the CCISD teaching staff on Oct. 23 to teach the history of square-foot gardening and how staff can utilize this practice with exterior raised beds around the greenhouse. Juntunen stated, the possibilities seem endless, our staff is ready for the greenhouse to be up and running so we can teach our students lessons in science, water conservation, gardening, and work skills.

The greenhouse donated to the CCISD, now stands behind their main building in Hancock. (provided photo)

Superintendent Stockero and the board thanked Juntunen for all her efforts and are excited to see the plan coming together. Board members were also very pleased to see the way the CTE construction students were able to help with the project.

Last month board member Robert Tuomi resigned from the board. At last night’s meeting the board selected Tim Palosaari from Chassell to take his place. Palosaari was a county commissioner and is a current member of the BHK board. These experiences, along with Palosaari’s broad knowledge of Career & Technical Education made him a positive addition to the CCISD board.

In other action, the Board:

Hired Jamie Jarvi as the Senior Network/Systems Engineer

Hired April Lantto from part-time to full-time Instructional/Bus Aide

Hired Heather L’Esperance as a full-time temporary Instructional/Bus Aide

Accepted Resignation of Shannon Wesa, Instructional/Bus Aide effective Dec. 20, 2019

Appointed PAC Member, Maija Kytta to a three year term for Public Schools of CLK.

First Adoption of NEOLA Policies