Escanaba board to seek replacement for resigning member

ESCANABA – The Escanaba school board has accepted the resignation of one of its members and authorized the superintendent to put out a notification for interested candidates to fill the vacancy.

Board Vice-President Nicole Dewar-Braun has expressed her intent to resign from the school board, effective Jan. 1.

At Monday’s school board meeting, Dewar-Braun said she only anticipated to serve on the board for a four-year term, but a change to state law regarding school board elections would extend the length of her term – an extension she did not commit to.

The board unanimously accepted Dewar-Braun’s resignation and authorized Escanaba Superintendent Michele Lemire to make a notification of the expected vacancy, seeking interested, qualified candidates to fill Dewar-Braun’s remaining year on the board, which expires Dec. 31, 2014.

The deadline for applications is Jan. 6.

“An individual is eligible if he or she is a citizen of the United States and is a qualified and registered elector of the Escanaba School District,” said Lemire. “The replacement would need to be appointed at the January 2014 board meeting.”

In the meantime, the district’s personnel committee will draft a list of qualifications they seek in a new member and provide the list of criteria for full board approval at the December board meeting.

“The board, at its option, may interview candidates of its choice in an open board meeting in January, and appointment by the board to fill a vacancy shall be by majority vote of the board,” she said.

Qualified and interested candidates from the community interested in filling the one-year term should express their interest in writing to Lemire, whose office is located at: Escanaba Area Public Schools, 1500 Ludington St., Escanaba, MI, 49829.

For more information, call the superintendent’s office at 786-5411.

The board also unanimously approved reinstating a technology teacher for 33 sections of kindergarten through third-grade core classroom instruction, effective Jan. 6. However, with this need for increased instructional services, the board also unanimously authorized placing a district accountant on lay-off status, effective Dec. 1.

In other business, the board:

– approved the Escanaba Education Association Wage/Insurance Re-opener for the 2013-14 school year. The agreement states that for this school year, the EEA will see a zero percent increase to the salary schedule along with no step increase, as well as no changes to insurance. The agreement also is tied to a different salary schedule for new EEA members hired after July 1, 2014. Lemire said the salary schedule is regionally competitive but also achieves long-term financial savings for the district over time.

– approved hiring Yolanda McDevitt and Kristina Paquin for two fourth-grade teacher assistant positions at the Escanaba Upper Elementary.

– approved hiring Bryce Groleau as the Escanaba High School assistant hockey coach.