By John Raffel
The Marion Board of Education discussed the bond proposal at its monthly meeting last week, and superintendent Mort Meier said the district is ready to enter the next phase of its renovation project.
“We’ll be putting specifications out to potential bidders to bid on the project,” Meier said.
Meier and school officials have said that the bond issue approved on May 2016 would update temperature control systems and reduce energy costs and, with new technology equipment for student use, would help prepare students for 21st century jobs.
School officials added the bond issue would secure three new busses, add security hardware and exterior doors. They also expect to replace the junior-senior high school backup boiler and add new temperature controls in both buildings and have new heating units in the 1992 high school addition. School officials also plan to replace, at the football stadium, the cracked concrete wall and railing at existing bleachers and replace sanitary and electrical service to existing concession buildings.
Also at last week’s meeting, the board went over its contract with new high school principal Danyel Prielipp, who replaced John Russell after he left for an administrative position with another school district.
“She has worked in our high school office the last year and a half as the career and college readiness teacher,” Meier said. “She’s had a lot of high school office experience. When John resigned, I talked to board members about the possibility of recommending her. There was no interview at all. She’s a terrific person. She’s been teaching at Marion High School for 20 years. We agreed that appointing her was the right thing to do.”
A a result, Meier said another teacher Stacie Sutten was named Career and College Readiness teacher.
“She has moved to the high school office as well,” Meier said. “She has a lot of experience with school improvement and a lot of experience with technology and the ability to make connections with universities and job potential for students. She seems like a natural fit. That was Danyel’s suggestion and I approved of that.”
Meier said he was going to hire a replacement, subject to formal board approval expected at a special meeting earlier this week, as the new world history, government, economics, social studies, geography high and middle school instructor.
Meier said the district is also looking for an event coordinator.
“It would be someone that could work at the high school in the evening managing events whether that be a basketball game, band concert, banquet…,” Meier said. “We created a job for someone to be on hand at night to coordinate whatever is going on. We decided it’s a pretty important role in taking care of our customers who come to Marion to play games.”
The job was posted last week.
“We hope we can find someone quickly,” Meier said. “It’s for all school events.”
Meier said the West Michigan D Conference is in the process of accepting Marion into the league. The athletic directors and high school principals have approved Marion’s application. It’s now in the hands of the school boards of current league members. Meier is anticipating approval at that level and to start participating in West Michigan D League by the 2018-19 season.