RCAPS creates grant writer position, volunteer program
REED CITY – For all the work she puts into writing grants and bringing extra money to Reed City Area Public Schools, Vicky Bowman will now receive some compensation as the district’s official grant writer.
After a unanimous vote to create a grant writer position, the board of education approved Bowman to fill the position on Monday night. The title comes with a commission of 5 percent of the total amount of grant money the writer brings in, as long as it’s not more than $20,000 per year.
“I’m very excited to take on this additional task,” said Bowman, who also teaches first grade at G.T. Norman Elementary School. “This will give me more opportunity to find more resources for the district.”
Since she started the Family Community Night Program five years ago, Bowman has started writing more and more grants to support the community nights and other programs for the district. The Family Night Program received a Michigan Educational appreciation for Bowman’s work, but he questioned whether the grant writer position should be limited to one person. Boyer recommended offering some sort of compensation for all teachers who obtain grants for their classroom. Bowman could oversee other teachers who needed help with grant writing, he proposed.
“I’m leery of one-person deals,” he said. “I fear that we might be overlooking an enormous resource that we have. We have 91 certified teachers in this district. ... We could try to find a system that would reward not just Ms. Bowman and the great work that she’s done, but would reward all of our teachers who go above and beyond in bringing outside dollars into the district.”
Board member Kathy Yost expressed concern about Bowman’s workload if she were given the responsibility of overseeing other teachers’ grants, writing her own grants and running her classroom. The board planned to re-examine the issue at a meeting later this fall.
“I am concerned (about balancing duties as a teacher with the responsibilities of a grant writer),” Bowman said. “But I am confident it will work out, and my administration will support me in that position.”
Also, the board approved Pattie Fasbender as the coordinator of a new volunteer program that will start this fall.
In reviewing feedback from teachers at the end of last school year, Westhoff noted many teachers requested additional volunteers to help with class projects, field trips and other special events. Fasbender will organize parent volunteers to help meet those teachers’ needs.
Westhoff and the board will review the volunteer program after the fall 2011 semester and decide how to proceed with the group.
In other business, the board approved:
• the fall coach roster, with new additions in Dean McGuire as boys soccer coach, Zack Griffin as freshman football coach and John Thompson as Junior Varsity football coach; and
• increasing the athletic secretary’s position from six hours to 10 hours a week, four of which will be spent assisting in the central office.
The board will meet again at 7 p.m. on Sept. 18 in the board room.