At Monday’s meeting, the Van Buren Public Schools Board of Education voted unanimously to rename North and South Middle Schools with the names of the streets on which they stand.
North Middle School will be renamed McBride Middle School. With the reconfiguration of classes, McBride will hold seventh and eighth grade students.
South Middle School will be renamed Owen Intermediate School and will hold fifth and sixth grade students.
A discussion on name changes was held at a workshop on July 16.
In her presentation to the board, Human Resources Director Shonta Langford-Green said with the district building closures and restructuring completed last spring, both of these schools will serve different grades and configurations than they have previously.
“A name change for each of these buildings will complete the transition to welcome all students attending this fall and to begin new traditions of their own,” Green said.
She presented the name change recommendation in the absence of School Supt. Michael Van Tassel who was out of town on a family emergency.
Green said past board policy has prohibited naming any school buildings after former employees or members of the communities. Renaming these two buildings after their street names is consistent with past practice as well as complements all the current elementary schools.
The estimated cost to change the names is $6,000 per building, for a total of $12,000.
This cost includes changing the permanent letters on each building to 12-inch anodized aluminum letter, cast Helvetica ($2,000 per building) and replacing the letter signs with new changeable letter signs ($4,000 per building).
Board president Martha Toth said they won’t be changing the mascots, because that would be too expensive, and the South Middle School name in the relatively new gym floor at the new Owen Intermediate School will not be changed.
In other business, the board:
• Approved the hiring of John Bojanowski of Commerce, MI, as the new Transportation Supervisor, replacing Rhonda Lyons-Manning of Sumpter Township who resigned at the end of school year to go to work for the Huron School District. The one-year contract, starting Aug. 13, is for $53,000, plus fringe benefits. He was selected from six candidates and recommended by Manning. He was working for the Farmington Public Schools as a transportation dispatcher and previous to that was mechanic/supervisor of transportation for the Northville Public Schools;
• Approved terminations requested by the following teachers/administrators: Jeremy Abbott of South, 11 years, for relocation; Michelle Briegel, Edgemont, 5 years, other employment; Karen DeWulf, BHS, 10 years, personal reason; Steven Hudock, South, 18 years, other employment; and Debra Twork, Tyler, 33 years, retirement;
• Approved recalling the following teachers from layoff: Kristina Brashear, South; Laurie Hoffman, South; Kristin Horchem, Savage; Erin Knotts, Savage; Laurie Kunz, Tyler; and Tamara Mida, North;
• Approved hiring the following teachers: Jesse Donoghue, Spanish, North; Shannon Kelley, vocal music, BHS; and Slavica Vidojevski, counselor, BHS; and
• Was reminded next Monday’s 7 p.m. workshop will also be a special meeting, so votes can be taken on bond matters. The board also will discuss information on Supt. Van Tassel’s plan for a two-day administrators’ retreat. The next regular meeting will be 7 p.m. Aug. 27.