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Photo by Crystal Hayduk. Mara Goodman, new social worker.

By Crystal Hayduk

Beach Middle School Principal Nick Angel introduced Mara Goodman, who began work on Jan. 8 as a social worker at Beach Middle School, to the Chelsea School District Board of Education at their meeting that evening. Goodman was hired to replace Frederik van Reesema following his resignation.

Angel said that mid-year hires are unusual, so he is pleased that the district found someone with such stellar qualifications.

Goodman received her education at Wayne State University. The references from her most recent position with Waterford School District gave her high recommendations. “Her principal in Waterford said she wore many hats – as social workers do,” said Angel. “He said he doesn’t know what the district will do without her.”  

The board elected their officers for 2018. Remaining in their previous positions will be Anne Mann as president, Laura Bush as secretary, and Greg Rhodes as treasurer. The new vice-president will be Shawn Quilter.

In her superintendent report, Julie Helber said that the district is considering the possibility of adding a school nurse position for two afternoons a week. The plan would be to utilize a registered nurse who is already in the district teaching the health science consortium class in the mornings. “It’s important to have support for a variety of things that come up, to keep track of first responders in the buildings, and for our medically fragile kids,” said Helber.

Board member Bush expressed concern about the imbalance of responsibilities compared to the number of work hours. “That would be a lot to put on someone’s plate and expect them to do it all in two afternoons a week,” said Bush.

Helber said she believes the district can use “more consistent support and guidance” and would benefit from a school nurse. She said that the district has managed without a school nurse for many years. “There’s always been this idea that we’re so close to the hospital, and we’ve gotten help at times from a nurse at the [Washtenaw] Intermediate School District,” she said. “But we’re going to dip a toe into the nursing service water and see what happens.”

The board approved a bid for roofing replacement projects by Royal West Roofing, located in Brighton, in the amount of $189,750. Board member Kristin van Reesema questioned the bid because it was significantly lower than the next lowest bid. Marty Schultz, project manager for Clark Construction, told the board that he has worked with Royal West, a bonded company, on many projects previously, and is “not nervous about using them at all.” It is expected that the roofing projects will be completed this summer.

Upcoming dates:

There will be no school for students on Jan. 15 in honor of Martin Luther King, Jr. Day.

The next school board meeting will be at 6:30 p.m. on Jan. 22 at Chelsea High School, 740 North Freer Road.

Parent-teacher conferences will be held from 3:45 – 7 p.m. on Jan. 24 at Beach Middle School by appointment only; and on Jan. 25 at Chelsea High School on a first-come, first-served basis.

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