Antal named MAPS school board president

MANISTEE — The Manistee Area Public Schools Board of Education elected Dr. Paul Antal on a 6-0 vote to serve as its president for 2018 at Wednesday’s organizational meeting in the Manistee Middle/High School Band Room.

The Manistee Area Public Schools celebrated School Board Recognition Month on Wednesday. Shown in the front row (left to right) are Sarah Sheathelm (student board representative), Richard "Duke" Edmondson, Shelley Johnson and Jim Thompson. Back row (left to right) are Superintendent Ron Stoneman, Dr. Paul Antal, Paul Wehrmeister and Dale Sparks. Missing from the photo is Daniela Thomas. (Ken Grabowski/News Advocate)

The Manistee Area Public Schools celebrated School Board Recognition Month on Wednesday. Shown in the front row (left to right) are Sarah Sheathelm (student board representative), Richard “Duke” Edmondson, Shelley Johnson and Jim Thompson. Back row (left to right) are Superintendent Ron Stoneman, Dr. Paul Antal, Paul Wehrmeister and Dale Sparks. Missing from the photo is Daniela Thomas. (Ken Grabowski/News Advocate)

Antal has previously served as the board president. He takes the place of Paul Wehrmeister, who was elected to the vice president position on a similar 6-0 vote (board member Daniela Thomas was absent from the meeting).

Board member Shelley Johnson praised Wehrmeister for his service to the board and district as president for the past two years.

“I want to thank Paul as you led us for the past two years through some very difficult situations and handled it with dignity and did a great job,” she said.

Other officers elected on the same 6-0 vote were Johnson, who will be the secretary, and Jim Thompson who was named as the treasurer for the upcoming year.

Board members also approved their meeting schedule for the upcoming year. Regular meetings will continue to be held primarily at 7 p.m. on the second Wednesday of the month at the Kennedy Elementary School Media Center. The only exceptions to that rule will be the April 11 and Oct. 11 meetings that will take place at Madison Elementary School and the May 9 and Nov. 7 meetings at Jefferson Elementary school. Those meetings will also be at 7 p.m.

Board members also agreed to primarily keep the work sessions the fourth Wednesday of the month with the exception of July and December when none will take place.

Board members also reviewed their current building assignments and were told if anyone wanted to make any changes to notify the office in the next month, otherwise they will remain the same. Those assignments are as follow:

• Manistee High School: Thomas, Thompson and Dale Sparks;

• Manistee Middle School: Thomas, Thompson and Sparks;

• Kennedy Elementary School: Johnson and Thomas;

• Jefferson Elementary School: Antal and Wehrmeister;

• Madison Elementary School: Wehrmeister and Edmondson; and

• Bus Garage: Wehrmeister and Sparks.

Superintendent Ron Stoneman also passed out certificates of appreciation to the board members in honor of the School Board appreciation month. Stoneman said he is proud to work with this board and that they do an outstanding job.

“We have a lot to appreciate in the school board that we have. I have worked for a few boards and I genuinely say you are a great board,” said Stoneman. “You focus on the betterment of the school district and you understand kids and the involvement of the school district overall. You are great stewards to the school district and the community.”

Stoneman said board members put in a great deal of work during the course of a year.

“You have worked hard to be collective yet being individuals in your thoughts and you have done a great job in it,” said Stoneman. “We are celebrating our successes in 2017 and look forward to even better things in 2018. We really appreciate your work and the time you do your job.

Since Wednesday’s meeting was held in the band room, the board and those in attendance were also treated to a musical performance by Manistee High School Band member Ryan Biller who performed a saxophone solo. Biller’s effort received a rousing ovation from those in attendance.

Board members were also given a track update by Stoneman.

“We have an active group in the community known as Friends of the Community Track who are planning for some future fundraising and I appreciate their leadership,” said Stoneman. “I think it is timely for us naming the track facility. We will have a recommendation for you at the February meeting, and we have communicated all along that this was a community track and naming it the Manistee Community Track may be appropriate.”

Stoneman said they are really looking to get equipment which would open it up to community use of the track and hosting a track event.

“We have a list of items that come to about $60,000 and we are tentatively on track to host two events this spring and we are holding those dates that we are confident in prevailing in our efforts,” said Stoneman.

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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 kgrabowski@pioneergroup.com.

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