Becker-Witt selected to new term as ISD president

MANISTEE — Mary Becker-Witt will be serving another term as president of the Manistee Intermediate School District Board of Education following action taken this week at the board’s organizational meeting.

Becker-Witt was elected to a new term on the board this spring and she has served in the role of president for several years. Other officers elected at the organizational meeting to new terms were Margaret Cloutier (vice president), Lynda O’Shea (secretary) and Eric Smith (treasurer).

Board members were also tasked with finalizing committee assignments for the 2019-20 fiscal year. All of the committee assignments remained the same as last year and include the following:

• Finance: O’Shea and Doug Parkes;

• Personnel/salary: Cloutier and Smith;

• Business Co-op: Cloutier and O’Shea;

• Building and grounds: Parkes and O’Shea;

• West Shore Area School Board Assocation: Cloutier;

• Superintendent Review Board: Becker-Witt, Cloutier and Smith (alternate);

• MCOE: 2020 Becker-Witt;

• MASB Liasion: Smith and Becker-Witt and;

• MASB Legislative Relations Network: Doug Parkes.

Action was also taken to name MISD superintendent Dave Cox to represent the board as signatory on grants and other agreements with governmental agencies and outside organizations.

Board members took action to select the district’s depositories and electronic transfer agent. The depositories were PMF-MILAF, PNC, Fifth Third Bank and West Shore Bank. Selected as signatories were Cox and Manistee County School Business Cooperative director Kris Mauntler.

Legal counsel for the ISD in the upcoming school year will remain the Thrun Law Firm and Clark Hill Associates after unanimous action by the board.

Board meetings will remain at 4:30 p.m. on the third Tuesday of the month unless a change is determined by the board.

After adjourning from the organizational meeting, the board began its regular meeting with a report from Cox. He informed the board on new hires.

“We now have a new Early Childhood Coordinator in Paris Philo and are interviewing for an early childhood specialist,” said Cox.

The superintendent also updated the board on action that has been taken against ISD’s across the state regarding E-rate funding requests that were filed in 1998 and 1999. The USAC determined the FCC violated the FCC rules. When that happens the FCC rules require the Universal Service Administrative Company  (USAC) to rescind the commitments and recover funding from the districts who received it.

“You may be asked to consider approving a resolution engaging with the law firm of Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman to initiate an appeal of the e-Rate determination may by USAC,” said Cox.

The ISD superintendent said there will be some changes in the Early Childhood program.

“Our local early childhood people, Seth Hopkins and Erin Pontiac, will no longer be employed through or housed through the Alliance for Economic Succcess,” said Cox. “They will be contracted through the Wexford Missaukee ISD and housed in the Manistee ISD business office.”

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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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