ISD looks ahead to staffing, service changes

MANISTEE — When the 2018-19 school year begins, the Manistee Intermediate School District will be taking on a much different appearance in many areas.



One of those will be in the superintendent position where Jeff Jennette has resigned and will be replaced on an interim basis by  Wexford Missaukee Career Tech Education director Dave Cox. The Manistee ISD and Wexford Missaukee ISD (WMISD) currently share a dual superintendent and plans are to continue on that course.

Other changes will come in the special education department where Jim Scranton announced he is retiring and will be replaced by current Manistee ISD special education supervisor Brooke McIsaac. Her current position is not being replaced in a budget cut move by the ISD.

However, one department that is going to have a great deal of change is general education which is also losing its director Kay Salyer to retirement. Personnel and duties will be changing as well in the  upcoming school year.

Salyer said the present makeup of the general education department consists of herself, consultants Kim Rinehart and Dency Lippert, general education assistant Devin Wagner and technology consultant Jeff Kamaloski. What they would do prior to the start of each year was meet and divide up the duties.

“We would talk it over and decide who had the time to do what tasks and the duties would shuffle around every year,” said Salyer.

This year some of Rinehart’s duties included science professional learning and networking, science consulting and professional learning at the WMISD, state collaboratives for science, principal professional learning, school improvement planning, instructional coaching for poverty and science, and the ISD enrichment programs.

Lippert was tasked with English language arts professional learning, early literacy coach network, third grade reading success network, state collaboratives for ELA consultants, principal professional learning, school improvement planning, curriculum instruction and assessment, instructional coaching formative assessment, reading apprenticeship and new teacher professional learning.

Besides being the director of the department Salyer’s duties included school improvement planning and professional learning, state collaboratives for general education directors, principals and superintendents professional learning, curriculum instruction and assessment consulting, oversees budgets and PSAT/SAT analysis.

Salyer pointed out that the Manistee ISD also shares services with the Wexford Missaukee ISD including math consulting, social studies consulting, science consulting and focus/priority schools. Those things will continue next year.

Wegner provides support in a variety of ways including professional learning facilitation support, technology and clerical support and MDE State Continuing Education clock hours applications and monitoring. She will continue in that capacity next year.

“When we started planning for my retirement the question we often get from the area districts is if there is a going to be a change or loss of services,” said Salyer. “So we looked at the services we will be offering and the new personnel that will be coming in.”

Salyer said one of the changes is Rinehart will change from a consultant to a general education coordinator and working with Lisa Lockman who will be the general education director. Lockman will serve in that capacity at Manistee and WMISD, which is a new position.

“Kim will have expanded oversight including working on the budget with Dency and the new early literacy coach after that position gets filled and general education consultant Jodi Redman,” said Salyer. “So when Lisa Lockman takes over it will be as general education director at both ISDs, but when she comes over here for meetings with the rest of the staff Kim will run the meetings here.”

The concept they hope to keep is the a sense of continuing the good work that has been accomplished the last several years at the ISD.

“We want to keep the flavor of the work we have been doing and not have it completely change,” said Salyer.

Salyer said something Lockman will bring to the table is a strong understanding of state mandates.

“She does a great job of attending a lot more state meetings than I ever did,” said Salyer. “So she has all that information and usually when it came time for the principal meetings I would be calling her up and finding out the things I didn’t know about. She will be great in that area.”

Lockman will also oversee the budget and staff and the CASMAN school improvement process.

Also taking on more duties will be Jodi Redman for the Wexford Missaukee ISD.

“We have already been using her for a lot of work in our county, but we will get her for more days next year for math recovery and professional learning,” said Salyer. “Jodi will also be doing PSAT/SAT analysis, as I have been doing that and going to the different high schools to do it. Jodi is trained in doing that.”

Salyer said the ISD also acquired a two-year grant to add an early literacy coach.

“Some of the things Dency had been doing are going to move over to that early literacy coach at least for the next two years and we hope that the state continues that position in the future,” said Salyer. “We had 16 people apply for that position, and we are interviewing four of them.”

Jennette said it took a lot of work to plan out this transition to make it a smooth one.

“A lot of credit goes to Kim, Dency and Kay and Kris Mauntler as they took all these different positions like a jigsaw puzzle and put it all together to make it work within our budget parameters,” said Jennette. “Kay’s retirement and the Early Literacy Coach grant provided different funding to do different things next year.”

Salyer said one of the other keys continues to be the shared services with WMISD; it makes the experience richer and allows them to specialize more in certain areas.

“With the new technology we are getting, it allows us to do more things without driving back and forth for professional development,” said Salyer. “We will need to continue to get better with that in the future.”



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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