School boards talk improvements, superintendent contract

OSCEOLA/MECOSTA COUNTY — In Osceola and Mecosta counties, board of education members spent Jan. 8, discussing bond projects and the new Mecosta-Osceola Intermediate School District superintendent contract, among other actions.

Evart Public Schools

Evart Public School Board of Education members only have to check off a few more items on their list of bond projects, which was discussed during their first meeting of the year on Jan. 8.

“We are close to the end,” said Superintendent Shirley Howard. “The middle school still has a few items of concern.”

Howard said the final payment for the projects has not yet been paid.

Also during the meeting, a few board members took on new roles. Members elected Kelly Millen and Rosie McKinstry as the new board secretary and treasurer, respectively. Board members then approved keeping the same meeting schedule as in 2017. Board members will meet at 7 p.m. on the second Monday of each month.

Board members also approved coaches for spring sports including Josh Johnson, boys varsity baseball; Ken Ranjel, boys junior varsity baseball; Cheryl Speet, varsity softball; Jeff Burhans, junior varsity softball; Dennis Peacock, boys track; Todd Scott, girls track; and Randy Kruse, assistant track.

A special board meeting will begin at 7 p.m. on Monday, Jan. 22, in the board room, in the middle school, located at 321 N. Hemlock St., in Evart. During the special meeting, board members will be recognized for their service. The next regular meeting will begin at 7 p.m. on Monday, Feb. 12, in the board room.

Mecosta-Osceola Intermediate School District

The year started with discussing the contract of the Mecosta-Osceola Intermediate School District’s new superintendent Steve Locke. During the Board of Education meeting on Jan. 8, board members and Locke signed his contract for the position.

Locke’s salary was set at $125,000 for the superintendent position and the board is offering Locke an allowance of $7,500 to further his education.

“We felt this was fair for him,” said Board President Marie Wilkerson.

The entire contract will be available online soon.

Also taking on a new position with the MOISD, board members approved appointing Benjamin Bryant as a secondary resource room teacher to the school’s U.S. 10 corridor.

During the meeting, board members heard about recent departmental efforts to work together to improve literacy.

“We are working toward being more efficient in streamlining literacy at the MOISD,” Locke said.

The next board meeting will begin at 6 p.m. on Monday, Feb. 12, at the Resource Center, located at 15760 190th Ave., Big Rapids.