KND board hires new special education teacher

BRETHREN — Most K-12 school superintendents will agree that one of the best feelings this time of the year is having a full staff lined up for the start of a new school year.KND Schools

Far too often school officials are scrambling right until the first day of school to fill open teaching positions they may have on their staff. However, that will will not be the case this year for Kaleva Norman Dickson superintendent Marlen Cordes.

On Monday evening the Kaleva Norman Dickson Board of Education took action to hire Chelsea Hicok as a new special education teacher filling the last opening they have on staff. Cordes said Hicok has served as the Moderately Cognitive Impaired teacher for the Wexford-Missaukee Intermediate School District since 2015.

“We have been able to fill everything, but we had to shift some things around,” said Cordes. “We eventually are going to need a foreign language teacher, but we are still good in that area for another three years that we don’t need to offer that yet.”

Some of the shifts in staffing Cordes pointed to was the recent addition of a social studies teacher.

“That allowed us to move Kyle Griffin into an at risk/title position to help support our students in math,” said Cordes. “Our hiring Hicok for special education position filled our last opening.”

Monday’s meeting was the district’s semi-annual organizational meeting where board members had to take action on a series of items to conduct business over the upcoming year. July is the start of the new fiscal year for school districts and that is why the action is necessary at this time.

One of those was a unanimous vote of the board on the school depositories to continue to name the Michigan School Liquid Asset Fund, Fifth Third Bank, Lake-Osceola State Bank, m-Bank and West Shore Bank as the financial institutions for the fiscal 2018-19 school year.

The Thrun Law Firm of Lansing is the legal counsel for most school districts in this area and KND’s board approved retaining them for the upcoming year.

Each year the districts maintain memberships in a variety of organizations that assist them with services and information. Board members approved Northern Michigan Schools Legislative Association ($421), Michigan Association of School Boards ($1,700), Michigan Association of School Administrators ($1,085), Michigan Association of Secondary Principals ($625), MASB Rural Dues ($50) and West Michigan D League ($1,000).

“We are just doing what we have always done in terms of memberships and are not adding any new ones,” said Cordes.

The superintendent also informed the board of the upcoming Northern Michigan Schools Legislative Association dinner that will take place at the Hagerty Center in Traverse City on Aug. 2 and encouraged them to attend.

“It’s the annual dinner that they have; the speakers are quite good,” said Cordes. “This year state Sen. Geoff Hansen will be the speaker and he has been a strong supporter of the 2X funding for schools.”

The 2X funding formula is one that has been in place that provides the lowest funded schools in the state twice as much in increases than the higher ones when increases are given out in state per pupil funding.

Board members also went into closed session for contract negotiations concerning the support staff. No action was taken on the matter when the board returned to open session.


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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