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By Crystal Hayduk

Middle school band students should have a seamless transition to their new teacher following Jim Otto’s retirement. The Chelsea School District Board of Education approved the hiring of Katy Steklac to replace Otto at their board meeting on June 12.

Superintendent Julie Helber said that she and Marcus Kaemming, executive director of instruction, curriculum and human resources, interviewed the final three candidates and Steklac stood out as the top choice. Beach Middle School Principal Nick Angel agreed. “We had a deep pool of candidates from around the state,” he said. “Her references were outstanding, she has plans to incorporate technology with music, and she knows our program inside and out as a former graduate and current volunteer. She is a slam-dunk hire.”

Steklac is a 2013 graduate of Central Michigan University, and has work experience in South Canton and Grosse Pointe. In addition to student teaching in Milan Area Schools, Steklac spent a summer teaching English, math, and music in Ghana.

Administrators from all grade levels presented plans to develop the Graduate Learner Profile (GLP) as part of an innovation initiative. Having identified the skills most necessary to develop the GLP as the Four C’s (critical thinking, communication, collaboration, and creativity), teams from each building met over the last six months to set short- and long-term goals. North Creek Principal Luman Strong said the plans involve “strategies to best prepare our students for an unknown future.”

Each building plans to focus on the aspect of collaboration for the 2017-18 school year. Evaluation and future planning will be ongoing.

In other board news:

  • The board voted to support the “Resolution to Protect Our Communities from the Marijuana Industry” that had been presented at their May 22 meeting. (Related story here .)
  • Nathan Peters, middle school orchestra teacher, was commended for being selected by the Michigan School Band and Orchestra Association as the District 12 Teacher of the Year.
  • The transportation department received a 100 percent passing rate at their annual inspection on May 31. “Mr. (Rick) Boham and our mechanics are to be commended for their hard work to help keep our students safe,” said Helber.
  • The board thanked student liaison Carly Critchfield for two years of service and valuable input to the board. Critchfield, a 2017 graduate, plans to attend McDaniel College in Maryland and pursue a double major in political science and economics. She thanked the board for the opportunity. “It was helpful to sit at this table with adults and learn about complicated things,” she said.
  • The board thanked the 55 teachers who attended commencement on June 4.

Upcoming dates:

  • The last day of school is June 16; one-half day for students.
  • The next school board meeting will be at 6:30 p.m. on June 26 at the Washington Street Education Center.
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