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Wickham to take principal post at Lemmer

ESCANABA — Current Soo Hill Elementary School Principal Paulette Wickham will become the principal at Lemmer Elementary School next school year. Superintendent Coby Fletcher asked the Escanaba School Board for its support for the move Monday.

“I will be placing Paulette Wickham in the role of principal at the new first and second grade Lemmer Elementary school campus. I feel like that’s the right move for us to make as a district,” said Fletcher. “I think Paulette has a skill-set to help us get that building off to a good start, and I’m asking you tonight for a motion of support for that placement.”

It’s a superintendent’s job to place people in positions of their school district. Usually, an organizational plan is proposed to the board to start working through staffing positions. After the Dec. 16 board’s vote to close Soo Hill Elementary, the district will be undergoing some fairly substantial changes with the reconfiguration.

Lemmer Elementary will hold seven classrooms of first graders and seven classrooms of second graders in a 19 classroom building. Sixth graders will move into the junior high school, and over time change to a curriculum similar to seventh and eighth graders. Third graders will move into the Upper Elementary School.

There has been a lot of discussion, review of data, feedback received, and then a decision was made, according to Fletcher.

“I’m very attentive on how we move forward,” said Fletcher. ” … I’m going to try to get information out to people as quickly as I can, about what the changes are going to entail. The first thing I promised I would get information out about was the leadership at the new first and second grade Lemmer Elementary school in 2020-2021.”

Currently, Dr. Matthew Johnson-Reeves is principal at Lemmer Elementary. Fletcher said the rest of the organizational plan will be released at a later date, including what part Johnson-Reeves will have in the plan.

“As much as I understand people are going to wonder, what’s coming next, I’m really only dealing with one thing tonight, because I think it’s important tonight to provide the information to people,” Fletcher said.

The board voted to support the placement of Paulette Wickham as Lemmer principal.

In other business, the board:

– Held the annual organizational meeting and approved the following office positions: Bob Chaillier, president; Kathy Jensen, vice president; April Chaillier, secretary; and James Beauchamp, treasurer. Each person changed positions to provide others a chance to hold a different post than the previous year.

– approved appointments for the 2020 calendar year. Each appointment from 2019 held true for the 2020 calendar.

Marlene Valley, secretary to Fletcher, was appointed assistant secretary to April Chaillier. Valley is the board’s designee to assure compliance with requirements of the Open Meetings Act.

Kevin Pascoe, director of business services, will continue as appointed assistant treasurer to James Beauchamp.

Fletcher and Pascoe, were appointed as check signature authorizations. Pascoe and Stephanie Maulding, accounting and human resources specialist, were appointed as the district’s designees for electronic funds transfers.

In addition, Bob Chaillier will continue to be the representative for the DSISD Association of School Boards, and Jensen and April Chaillier will continue on the scholarship committee.

The next regular meeting of the Escanaba School Board will be held Jan. 20 at 6 p.m. in the courtyard room at the Upper Elementary.

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