Clare County Review & Marion Press News

Marion School Board approves Superintendent and Superintendent Asst. contracts

By Genine Hopkins

The Marion Public School Board regular meeting was held on Tuesday, May 21, at 6 p.m. in the Elementary School Library. The board, after careful discussion, approved a three-year contract for Danyel Prielipp, with a base pay of $91,800 the current and returning Superintendent/Elementary School Principal. The details included a one time 2% raise and merit (and bonus) pay increases as determined by evaluations over the three-year period. The only concern appeared to be with insuring school finances remain solvent with the raise for both Prielipp and her Assistant, Shelly Laughlin, who’s own three year contract was also approved at the board meeting. The term of three years was due in part to allowing Prielipp to continue as Superintendent until she reaches the minimum age of her retirement. Teacher contracts still have one year before negotiations will begin.
Seniors Madison Sutten and Mara Jolly both presented a summary of the senior class trip to Craig’s Cruisers in Grand Rapids. Attendance was higher than anticipated, with 28 students attending and several chaperones as well, which Sutten said was included in the potential budget for the trip. Sutten herself negotiated the price of $35 per ticket and the attendees enjoyed so many different attractions, including go carts, mini golf, laser tag and more. Students were on their best behavior and were able to use the day creating memories that will last a lifetime as they each go on their own paths post-graduation. Funds were raised for the trip as well as some money left over from prom.
The board approved the hire of new Special Education teacher Kiya Smallegan in the High School.
ISD Assistant Superintendent of Business Katrina Bontekoe provided the board with the tentative budget for the ISD – which was approved by the whole board – and also reminded the board that while school ends for students next week, there are bills that will still be coming in and the ISD will be working hard to make sure everything from school year 2023-2024 is wrapped up.
Superintendent/Elementary School Principal Prielipp gave the board a litany of events that have occurred over the past month, from the NHS blood drive, to the 6th grade science field trip, the May 14th Spring Concert, the PTO sponsored Fun Day which provided a bounce house for everyone, including some teachers, to enjoy. Kindergarten and 1st grade’s concert, with a theme of pets, was extremely cute, the Mobile Dentist visited the elementary school, and the 5th graders traveled to Mackinaw Island. There was also the transitional 5th grade farewell and tour of the middle school, where they used a compass to “point find” their way to specific locations; students were very adept at a speedy finish of hitting all the points they were tasked with finding.
All board members will be attending a Superintendent Evaluation Training program on July 25, 2024. The state will reimburse the district $100 per person for the training but it is required by law.
Jennifer Krchmer resigned as the Yearbook Advisor, suggesting that a Yearbook Committee of students be formed to do the work instead, stating there was little student involvement; students who did sign up to help were already on the groups and events they would have been tasked to “cover” for the yearbook. Her resignation as Yearbook Advisor was approved.
Other motions approved was a donation by a teacher of their sick time to the district sick bank, resignation of one of the Reading Intervention teachers due to a move to another state – the board will not be replacing the position but instead be partnering with the ISD to provide a Reading Intervention Specialist two days a week while also include a Math Intervention Specialist, a retiring teacher will be purchasing their iPad from the school, and the Cross Country Team will be spending one night, August 8 and August 9, at the Sleeping Bear Dunes. The Coach also noted they perform a service project while at the Dunes as well.

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