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By Crystal Hayduk

With board member Dana Durst absent, the Chelsea School District Board of Education unanimously approved the 2017-18 tax rate at their meeting on Sept. 11.

The sinking fund rate to be levied on Dec. 1 will be 0.9226 mills, the maximum allowable rate.

The board approved the hiring of Nicholas Cunningham as a special education teacher consultant at Beach Middle School. The position, which was posted in mid-August, became available following the resignation of Sarah Radu. Of 18 applicants, Cunningham was selected following a three-round interview. He received his undergraduate degree from Michigan State University, and his master’s degree from the University of Illinois.

Beach Middle School Principal Nick Angel said that Cunningham comes to the district with more than 10 years of teaching experience in Chicago, and “hit the ground running from day one in a position with a huge job description, working with the neediest students.”

In her report to the board, Superintendent Julie Helber said that staff and students are “back in the flow. The school year is off to a great start.”

She said that initial projections for student count are “better than expected.” The current prediction suggests a district-wide increase of 40 students over last year’s numbers. The district lost 55 students last year. “But, any increase helps the budget tremendously,” said Helber.

Final student numbers will not be available until after Count Day, Oct. 4.

Helber also said that the Chelsea Area Historical Society (CAHS) had asked about acquiring watercolor pencil drawings of the school district by artist Ben Bower. The district has owned the drawings since 2004, but over time, the pictures have begun to fade and the frames have cracked. “The historical society can better preserve the drawings,” said Helber. “More people can access and see them there, as well.”

With the board’s permission, the district plans to donate the drawings to CAHS.    

Upcoming dates:
There will be a board of education work session at 6:30 p.m. on Sept. 25.

The next regular school board meeting will be at 6:30 p.m. on Oct. 9 in the board room at the Washington Street Education Center.

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