Three Bear Lake School Board members begin new terms

Bear Lake Schools Board of Education members were honored at Wednesday’s meeting as part of School board recognition month. They were presented tokens of appreciation for their service by administration and education association members. shown in the front row left to right are Terri Alkire-Schimidt, Dr. richard Bobian, and Charles Brooks. Back row left to right are Wanda Schafer, Eric Smith, Rebecca Fink and Greg Babinec. (Ken Grabowski/News Advocate)

BEAR LAKE — Three members of the Bear Lake Board of Education officially began their new terms during Wednesday night’s organizational meeting at the school media center.

Eric Smith and Greg Babinec were both elected to new six-year terms by the voters at the November election and Rebecca Fink started the remainder of the term that she was appointed to fill following the passing of the late board member Mark Mullet last year. All have been sworn in and were ready to take their seats at the meeting.

Since Wednesday’s meeting was the annual organizational meeting, it was chaired at the beginning by superintendent Mike Matesich. Organizational meetings formerly took place in July following the May school elections, but this year school elections were switched to November. That, in turn, prompted the switch to the January organizational meeting.

The first order of business after calling the meeting to order was the election of a board president for the upcoming year and Charles Brooks was named as the president for another term on a unanimous vote of the board. Brooks then took over the meeting and the remainder of the officer positions were filled by the board with all the current officers being named to another term.

Terri Alkire-Schmidt returned to the vice president position while Eric Smith was named as the treasurer and Wanda Schafer returned as the secretary. All of those positions were confirmed on 7-0 votes of the board.

Another organizational task of the board was to set the meeting dates, times and locations for the upcoming year. They agreed to remain with the second Wednesday of the month at 7:30 p.m. in the Bear Lake Schools Media Center.

Board and committee assignments were also set for the upcoming year. Those assignments were as follows:

* Building and grounds: Fink, Schafer and Alkire-Schmidt.

* Health, PE and athletics: Babinec, Smith and Fink.

* Finance: Alkire-Schmidt, Richard Bobian and Brooks.

* MASB legislation and liasion: Fink.

* County cooperative: Bobian and Smith.

* Negotiations: Alkire-Schmidt, Babinec and Smith.

* Personnel/student discipline: Smith, Schafer and Fink.

* Manistee ISD rep: Alkire-Schmidt and Bobian.

* Manistee School Management Cooperative: Bobian and Babinec.

Board members were also given an update on the current superintendent search process taking place to find a replacement for Matesich, who is retiring the end of the school year. Matesich currently serves as the dual superintendent of Bear Lake and Kaleva Norman Dickson Schools, and he announced his intention to retire several months ago.

The Manistee County School Management Cooperative Council that consists of board members from both school districts has been working with the Michigan Leadership Institute on finding a replacement. They have been accepting applications and this evening that MSMC board will meet to decide what candidates they would like to interview for the position later this month.

Also taking place at Wednesday’s meeting was recognition of the board for School Board Recognition month. Members of the Bear Lake board were recognized by the staff and the education association for their contribution to the district at the meeting.



Posted by Ken Grabowski

Ken is News Advocate’s education reporter. He coordinates coverage for all Manistee County schools and West Shore Community College. He can be reached by phone at (231) 398-3125 or by email at

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