MAPS board of education hires two teachers

MANISTEE — The Manistee Area Public Schools Board of Education took action this week to hire two new teachers for the Jefferson Elementary School building.

New student representatives to the Manistee Area Public Schools Board of Education where named this week with those spots going to Lily Sandstedt and Matt Blevins. They will report monthly to the board on student activities and any concerns.

New student representatives to the Manistee Area Public Schools Board of Education where named this week with those spots going to Lily Sandstedt and Matt Blevins. They will report monthly to the board on student activities and any concerns.

McAnn Bradford will teach second grade and Cindy Lundberg who will be teaching at the kindergarten level. Jefferson Elementary School principal Julia Raddatz said they both were excellent additions to the staff.

“We were so very fortunate to hire McAnn Bradford,” said Raddatz. “She had a distinguished teaching career for many years, and she has actually helped publish one of our state online textbooks. So comes with a lot of experience in classroom instruction and technology.”

Raddatz said that Lundberg is another experienced teacher who is in the process of relocating to Manistee.

“She will be joining us on Oct. 1, and I am very familiar with her work which is very impressive,” said Raddatz. “She is excited to be coming here. She has been both a literacy coach and a building leader, so she is coming with a lot of different experiences.”

Wednesday’s meeting also saw the board take action on a 5-0 vote to restore the principals Andy Huber, Julia Raddatz, Kevin Schmutzler and assistant principals Jason Traviss and Kenn Kott and at-will employee salaries to the pre-concession level. Five years ago the entire MAPS staff including teachers, principals, superintendent and staff members all took a 4.35 percent cut in pay when budget constraints occurred in the district.

The action taken by the board restored them to the level the principals were at prior to the cuts. Board member Richard “Duke” Edmondson praised the efforts of the employees for remaining dedicated to the students and the district during that time.

“I appreciate the fact that for five years you guys were willing to do that and now we can make it right,” said Edmondson. “Not one time did I ever hear a negative thing come from any of you and that is fantastic.”

Superintendent Ron Stoneman pointed out that the teachers also were caught back up prior to the pre-cut level. Stoneman was not superintendent at the time the cuts were made five years ago. The position was held by then superintendent John Chandler who recommended the cuts to the board at that time.

The board also voted 5-0 to approve raising business manager Howard Vaas to the pre-cut level.

“It is the same story for Howard, who showed strong leadership at a difficult time for the district,” said Stoneman.

Board member Paul Wehrmeister agreed.

“Howard has really stepped up at times when we needed him,” said Wehrmeister.

Board members were also introduced to the two new student representatives to the board who will give monthly updates on student activities and concerns. This year Lily Sandstedt and Mathew Blevins will serve in that capacity.

“In our process to pick new ones this year we have Matthew Blevins who is a sopohmore who will be with us for two years,” said Manistee Middle/High School principal Andy Huber. “Lily Sandstedt is a junior who will be joining us for one year. We had an application process by student council.”

Board president Dr. Paul Antal welcomed the two new representatives.

“We started this about three or four years ago because we want to understand what the students are thinking and we wanted a direct conduit to you guys,” said Antal.

Stoneman also reported to the board on the start of the school year. He said it has been a very good start to the year at MAPS.

“Operations and facilities, transportation and food service has gone really well,” said Stoneman. “The overall environment and feelings in the buildings has just been very positive. I appreciate all the staff and everyone who contributes to the opening of school.”

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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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