Cox hired to ISD interim superintendent position

MANISTEE — The Manistee Intermediate School District Board of Education voted 4-0 to OK to a six month contract with Dave Cox as the interim superintendent.

Retiring Manistee Intermediate School District Special Education director Jim Scranton shakes hands with board member Eric Smith at Tuesday's meeting as fellow board member Margaret Cloutier looks on. Scranton is retiring after serving 14 with the Manistee ISD.

Retiring Manistee Intermediate School District Special Education director Jim Scranton shakes hands with board member Eric Smith at Tuesday’s meeting as fellow board member Margaret Cloutier looks on. Scranton is retiring after serving 14 with the Manistee ISD.

Cox currently serves as the Wexford Missaukee Career Tech Education director. He will be filling the superintendent spot that was left vacant after Jeff Jennette resigned because he is relocating to Texas where his wife serves in the military.

The Manistee ISD shares the superintendent position with the Wexford Misssaukee ISD. Cox said he plans to follow the same work schedule that Jennette used between the two districts.

“I will be in Manistee one day a week just like Jeff was and at Wexford Missaukee the other four days,” said Cox.

Tuesday’s meeting was also the final one for Manistee ISD special education director Jim Scranton and general education director Kay Salyer, who are both retiring. Both thanked the board for their support during their tenure at the Manistee ISD.

“It’s hard to believe that it’s been 43 years ago that I first started in education and 34 years as an administrator,” said Scranton. “Fourteen of those years were spent here in Manistee. I feel satisfied that during this time the special education department has grown and is providing quality services to students, their families and our local districts.”

Scranton said during his time in Manistee there is one thing he is most proud of being a part of with special education.

“That is moving our classroom programs from a segregated facility (at the ISD) to an integrated one in the mainstream of our local school districts,” said Scranton. “Although a difficult change at the time, it has proven to be, by far the best decision for not only our classroom students, but for the general population as well.”

Salyer echoed those sentiments of appreciation to the board.

“Thanks for your leadership and giving the opportunity to work with such a great organization,” said Salyer. “I will miss you all.”

Salyer also spoke out about the need for the State of Michigan to develop an aligned educational system. As general education direction, she worked closely with local districts on getting curriculum and professional development to match up with the ever changing state standards.

“In order to improve teaching and learning we need an aligned educational system with clear standards, resources to teach the standards, assessments  that measure student progress in their understanding of the standards and time to study accurate data to make adjustments and interventions,” said Salyer. “In the past 10 years, along with a decrease in funding, we’ve seen a myriad of legislation that changes standards, assessments and our evaluation system every other year. My hope is that we can get leadership that adopts an aligned system and leaves it alone for 10 years so we can use it to do our jobs.”

Salyer also reported that the ISD general education staff is working on school improvement plans for the 2018-19 school year.

“We offer support in the process by facilitating four sessions during the year for teams to look at data and assess implementation,” said Salyer. “We also attend local meetings to consult when invited. The process will be revamped next year by the Michigan Department of Education so we hope the transition with the new tool goes smoothly.”

Salyer also touched on collaboration on the evaluation process.

“Three representatives from the Michigan Department of Education presented a workshop on student growth with educator evaluations recently,” said Salyer. “Participants saw examples of districts changing their student growth from 25 percent to 40 percent of the evaluation which is the requirement for next year.”

Salyer said representatives from Bear Lake, Kaleva Norman Dickson, CASMAN Academy and Michigan Great Lakes Virtual Academy were present for the presentation.

Technology director Roy Anciso updated the board on several items his department has been working on.

“We did a technology refresh for Bear Lake Schools as new Chromebooks and iPads have been ordered for 2018-19,” said Anciso. We also did one for KND who is adding new iPads.”

Anciso also informed the board of technology upgrades at the ISD.

“Apple televisions have been added to the conference rooms and this allows for wireless display mirroring from Macs, iPads and iPhones,” said Anciso.

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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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