REED CITY — There are some new staff members at the Reed City Area Public Schools district this year and a few more will be joining the ranks in the coming weeks.

Members of RCAPS Board of Education met four of the district’s six newest staff members during their regularly monthly meeting on Monday, Sept. 19, and later, voted to hire four more staff members to fill vacancies.

Introducing the new staff members, building principals spoke highly of Joyce Vanderhoef, second-grade teacher; Michael Klepp, middle and high school band instructor; Sarah Gebhard, fourth-grade teacher; Jessica Frederick, middle school secretary; Brooke Compson, high school art teacher; and Brittany Moss, middle school counseling secretary. Compson and Moss were unable to attend Monday’s meeting.

A few minutes later, Superintendent Tim Webster recommended, and the board approved, hiring middle school math teacher Danielle Breedlove; elementary teachers Kylie Ruppert and Megan Ruestman; and secretary Danielle Engle.

During the meeting, the principals reported board members how the first few weeks of the school year has gone, with an emphasis on Capturing Kids’ Hearts, a skills program that aims to connect students through healthy bonds with teachers, staff and their fellow students.

“The teachers are using this to collaborate in a meaningful, transparent way, and it’s bringing them together,” said high school principal Monty Price.

At the middle school, principal Dean McGuire said the atmosphere at the school has positively changed.

“You can see it in how the teachers interact with the students, and how the staff interacts with other staff,” he said. “It’s been a big influence in the middle school so far.”

GT Norman Elementary principal Deanna Goodman said she hasn’t seen so many tears of joy at the beginning of the year from teachers before, and contributed it to Capturing Kids’ Hearts.

“There is a camaraderie among the staff and students,” she said. “This goes from the welcoming the students at the beginning of the day, asking them how they are doing or what they did over the weekend. The staff also welcomes each other each day.”

In other action from Monday’s meeting, the board:

  • heard about spirit week, Oct. 3-7, leading up to the homecoming game against Big Rapids on Friday, Oct. 7;
  • heard about upcoming building projects through the bond that will begin after the snow melts in the spring; and
  • approved adopting several revised or replaced NEOLA policies. NEOLA is an education policy consulting firm, that helps school leaders set direction through policy and address the policy implications and mandates.

The next RCAPS Board of Education meeting is set for 7 p.m. on Monday, Oct. 17, at the Porteaus Academic Center.