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By Crystal Hayduk

The Chelsea School District Board of Education approved the hiring of three new teachers at its meeting on Aug. 14. Each of the new teachers was selected following a three-interview process that included a teaching sample.

Katie Falk will teach kindergarten at North Creek Elementary School. The position became available last spring due to a retirement. She was selected from a pool of 240 applicants. Falk is a graduate of Eastern Michigan University. She most recently taught second through fourth grade students in North Carolina. 

Tiffany Manning will be a special education teacher consultant at Beach Middle School. She will replace Sara Smith who is transferring to North Creek. Manning rose to the top of 21 applicants. She received a bachelor’s degree from Georgia College and State University, and special education certification from Armstrong Atlantic State University. This veteran teacher has experience with a variety of students in three states.

Bonnie Korn will be the new French teacher at Chelsea High School following the resignation of Megan Stockmaster. Korn was selected from eight qualified candidates. She is a graduate of Central Michigan University with degrees in French and chemistry. Korn has 18 years of teaching experience in Michigan and Ohio.

The board also approved the bid for the Washington Street Education Center 700 Building demolition and earthwork. “Blue Star, Inc. of Warren, Michigan was the lowest qualified bidder at $39,700,” said Superintendent Helber.

Mark Paulus, the senior project manager for Clark Construction Company, said, “We fell into a window of opportunity” in regards to the price at this time of year. Work is expected to be completed by Aug. 31.

Helber introduced the district’s new food services director, Deborah Over. Over is an employee of Chartwells, the company that is contracted to provide food services to the district. Helber said that Over has years of experience and recently catered some events for the district that were “absolutely outstanding.”  

The board received information and discussed several topics, which will are slated for approval at a later board meeting. These include updates to board policy and the English Language Learner Handbook, both of which are required by state law.

In the superintendent report, Helber told the board that administration has surveyed support staff in hopes of lessening frustrations that led to the failed union election this past spring. There are still a few surveys that need to be returned, but Helber is confident that they will reveal ideas that will lead to “action steps and specific strategies.”

Helber said that changes in status (full-time versus part-time) have a “domino effect” in terms of costs to the district for health insurance. She said that students who need the assistance of paraprofessional support staff prefer consistency, which would likely best be served by full-time staff. The district will continue to look at the issues.    

Upcoming dates:

The next school board meeting will be at 6:30 p.m. on Aug. 28 in the board room at the Washington Street Education Center.

The first day of school for students is Sept. 5.

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