The Board of Directors of Keystone Academy interviewed two candidates to fill an open parent’s position on the board during its regular meeting Aug. 9.
Interviewed were Kim Kowalski, who works in financial planning at Monroe Bank, and Carol Manley, a CPA who works with a lot of non-profit organizations. Both candidates have children in Keystone.
Paul Rice had resigned from the board because he took on more responsibilities with his church. Now he also is going through chemotherapy.
Susan Meland, board secretary, had been the parent representative, but her children graduated from Keystone and so she no longer qualified in that slot.
After the required interviews, the board voted to recommend them both to the Bay Mills chartering organization and let Bay Mills make the hard choice, since both are highly qualified.
Bay Mills chose Manley and she was sworn in before the Oct. 18 board meeting began.
A third parent candidate who was willing to serve on the board, Elloi Beaton, is a Canadian citizen and so did not qualify.
At its Aug. 9 meeting, the board also voted unanimously to appropriate $9,000 for athletics from the board’s discretionary fund so coaches and parents will not have to spend energies on fund raisers.
Athletic Director Katie Hamilton requested $7,000 from the board, so she was delighted at the increase. Her total budget for the 2012-13 school year was $15,480, including the $8,680 balance from last school year.
Coaches get a $500 stipend the first year and then that is increased each year until the $1,320 cap, which includes taxes.
Most of the money in the athletic budget goes to pay coaches.
Board president Vesta Losen pointed out after all the effort and time spent, the fund raising for last year brought in just $1,300.
“Let’s do away with fund raising and give you more money and call it a day,” Losen said, referring to the athletic program. She said it’s hard to fund raise because the athletic projects step on the toes of the other school fund raisers.
Last year the pay-to-play fee was raised to $40, which helps a lot with the budget, Hamilton said.
Hamilton said they will buy new volleyball uniforms this year because they are in need of replacing.
In other business at the Aug. 9 meeting, the board:
• Heard an update from Keystone Principal Keturah Godfrey, reporting all the teaching positions have been filled and the teachers attended training;
• Heard Godfrey report that Keystone has been honored as one of the top 25 performing charter public schools in the state and was ranked #3 in performance out of all the 71 National Heritage Academy schools in the country. She also reported that Keystone was identified by the state as a Focus School, for having a gap between the highest and lowest performing students. She said Keystone is always pushing students to excellence, while accepting students from other districts that are not at grade level. Losen said Ann Arbor and Canton are Focus Schools, too, and, “We’re not in bad company.” She added that Keystone gets low performance students of every kind. Godfrey added, “That’s because parents have heard what a good job we do”;
• Discussed the ACT Explore Test results for 8th grade students to see if they are on track for college. Scores were not as high as they would like;
• Approved the School Improvement Plan as written; and
• Said good-bye to longtime National Heritage Academy Board Relations Manager John O. Joyner and hello to his replacement Chris Caulk.
The regular board meeting on Oct. 18 was delayed until after a closed-door session to discuss a situation with a student, who attended with his mother.
When the board went back into open session, the middle school student was expelled.