Anderson will remain at North Star

MARQUETTE – North Star Academy will keep its CEO and superintendent a little longer following approval by the school’s board of education Wednesday to move the position to part time.

Karen Anderson had tendered a letter of resignation in June, citing today as her last day. However, the board at that time did not accept it.

At that time, Anderson said the “hostile relationship with the NMU (Charter Schools Office) personnel have made this an impossible situation for me.”

In the months following, a search for a replacement for Anderson was unsuccessful and Anderson agreed to stay on as CEO/superintendent on a part-time basis.

She will work Tuesday through Thursday, but said she will be available should staff need her Mondays or Fridays.

Some of her work has been delegated to the building principals as well as administrative assistant staff.

“As you know, my heart is with North Star,” Anderson said. “I’d like to stay with North Star and try the part-time arrangement. I think it’s the best solution at this time in the interest of continuity and fiscal responsibility.”

Anderson’s salary will be reduced by $15,000 and each principal will receive an extra $1,000. Including other administrative consolidations within the district, a total of $34,000 will be saved.

Anderson also said she had been in contact with surrounding districts concerning possible consolidation of services in an effort to further save money, though no deals had yet been made.

The part-time CEO/superintendent position will be evaluated on an ongoing basis to ensure the academy still runs smoothly.

The board also welcomed a new NMU Charter Schools liaison in Betty LaPointe.

Previously, NMU Charter Schools Officer Bill Pistulka had filled that position. However, a deteriorating relationship and confusion on a year-long renewal of North Star’s charter by NMU, rather than the typical five-year renewal, prompted a change of personnel.

LaPointe said NMU wants to see North Star succeed and made the change to foster better communication between the school’s board and administration and the university.

In other action, the board accepted the resignation of former Treasurer Robert Wilson, nominating Secretary Lorana Jinkerson to take on the added duties of treasurer.

It also approved a number of changes to the student handbook and curriculum guide, and adopted a resolution accepting membership into the Michigan High School Athletic Association.