MAPS superintendent receives effective evaluation

MANISTEE — The Manistee Area Public Schools Board of Education announced at Wednesday’s meeting that superintendent Ron Stoneman’s evaluation has been

Manistee Area Public Schools Board of Education member Richard "Duke" Edmondson (right) was honored at Wednesday's board meeting for his years of service. Edmondson decided not to seek another term in November election and the meeting was his last. Sitting next to Edmondson is fellow board member Dale Sparks.

Manistee Area Public Schools Board of Education member Richard “Duke” Edmondson (right) was honored at Wednesday’s board meeting for his years of service. Edmondson decided not to seek another term in November election and the meeting was his last. Sitting next to Edmondson is fellow board member Dale Sparks.

completed and he was given an effective rating.

Board president Dr. Paul Antal made the announcement at the meeting and praised the efforts of the superintendent.

“We spent a good deal of time talking about expectations, objectives and what Ron has accomplished over the past year,” said Antal. “He did fantastic on the evaluation and scored better than he did last year. As a board we were very happy with what he has been able to do for us to guide us and the rest of the school. We look forward to many more years.”

Stoneman thanked the board for their input in the evaluation process.

“I appreciate the process and the feedback as it is very helpful,”he said.

Wednesday’s meeting was also the last one for board member Richard “Duke” Edmondson who opted not to seek another term on the board in the November election. Stoneman praised him for his service and dedication to the district during his tenure on the board.

The board also took action to purchase four used buses from Holland Bus Company at a cost of $230,400. Business manager Howard Vaas explained the details of the purchase to the board in the absence of transportation director Brenda Boyd, who was downstate for a transportation director’s meeting.

“Brenda also went to visit Holland Bus Company to see the buses herself before you took this vote,” said Vaas. “She called to tell me how pleased she was with the quality of buses that they are offering us. She and I continue to recommend these buses.”

Vaas said the district normally purchases buses in the summertime, but they delayed it this year to get Boyd’s input.

“This is a good time to buy buses as they aren’t selling a lot and trying to get rid of some inventory so we did very well on the price,” said Vaas. “The buses are 2016 and 2017 models and will update our fleet. We have some older buses in our fleet and right now we are running two 2002 and two 2006 buses in our regular routes. These buses will take the place of those four and we will keep the older ones for spares and sell off other of older spares.”

Vaas said as a result of this purchase 100 percent of the fleet will be 2013 or newer so it is a big upgrade to the fleet.

“Brenda is very excited to work with this vendor and one of the original buses we hoped to purchase was sold prior to getting to you, and Holland Bus Company stepped up and gave us a one year newer bus with only 15,000 miles for the same price.”

Vaas said they also acquired 30 plus child restraint seats for a bus that will allow MAPS to start transporting the pre-school Great Start Readiness Program (GSRP). Prior to this time the district had to contract to have those students transported with another carrier.

“We are looking at a more economical way to transport those students to GSRP,” said Vaas. “Plus it is mandated they must ride in safety seats at that age.”

Action was also taken at Wednesday’s meeting to name Austen Brauker to the open seat on the Michigan Great Lakes Virtual Academy Board of Education. Brauker will serve a term that will end on June 30, 2021.

During the Celebrations of MAPS Success portion of the agenda, Stoneman also praised music director Amanda Feyen for her work with the music program.

“I want to recognize the work she has done with our Christmas programs,” said Stoneman. “I know the staff is really appreciative of the job she is doing with the kids. She is working so hard and the kids are really happy with what they are seeing.”

Before closing out the meeting board members and administrative staff also took a moment to express sympathy to the family of former MAPS athletic director and teacher Steve Ward who passed way on Tuesday evening.

EDITOR’S NOTE: Due to deadline constraints more on Wednesday’s meeting including a communication matrix that was drawn up by the Student Safety Advisory Committee and information on improvements at the Paine Aquatic Center will be published in an upcoming edition of the News Advocate.

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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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