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New principals hired at Manistique schools

June 30, 2012
By Jason Raiche , Daily Press

MANISTIQUE - The Manistique School Board recently approved contracts for two new principals for the coming school year. The action was taken during a recent school board meeting.

According to Manistique Superintendent Kathy McDonough, the board approved a two-year contract for Erik Mason as Emerald Elementary principal and a two-year contract for John Shiner as middle/high school principal.

"The principal position is as critical to a district's success as the selection of a superintendent," said McDonough. "Principals set the culture and expectation of staff and students for the building, and are the 'face of the district' for parents who entrust their children to our care."

Mason is a 1993 graduate of Manistique High School, and has been with Imlay City Community Schools for his entire educational career, serving as middle school principal there since 2006. Mason holds an educational specialist degree in education leadership from Oakland University, a master's in teaching from Marygrove College, and a bachelor's of science degree in elementary education from Central Michigan University. Mason is married and has three sons. His parents are Manistique residents Richard and Linda Mason.

Shiner has been the principal at Ontonagon Area Junior/Senior High School since 2005, and holds a bachelor's of science degree in health studies and biology from Central Michigan University, and a master's in education with secondary certification in biology and sociology from the University of Michigan. Shiner will complete his educational leadership degree through Grand Valley State University this fall. Shiner also has teaching experience at Kettering High School in Detroit and was a Peace Corps volunteer in Western Samoa. He is married and has two children - a son and daughter.

The search for principals began in January when the board chose to return to two principals after implementing a one year pilot of a K-12 principal. Two ad-hoc committees were formed, with participants reviewing all applications, ranking candidates, and selecting four candidates to interview for each position. Public interviews were held June 6 and 7.

The two principal positions became available following the retirement of Butch Yurk, who had served as the K-12 principal under the pilot. Yurk announced he would retire at the end of the school year back in January.

It was also determined there was a need for an elementary and middle/high school principal in each building.

"Parents and community members are encouraged to participate in open house events to be announced when both men have moved to the area," said McDonough.

The school board also held a hearing on and adopted the 2012-13 general fund operational budget, which has a proposed balanced budget of $8,708,489, said McDonough.

Due to recent bond refunding, the debt retirement rate was also reduced from 2.95 mills to 2.5 mills as part of the budget adoption.

The board also adopted final amendments to the 2011-12 general fund budget, which shows an increase of $39,500 in revenue and a decrease in expenditures of $134,400 for an increased fund equity of $173,900.



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