Blommer takes school board seat

Mindy Carls
Amy Calderone Blommer took the oath of office on Wednesday, May 19, as a member of the Orion school board.

The Orion school board chose Amy Calderone Blommer from three candidates to fill a vacancy on the board.

She took the oath of office during the Wednesday, May 19, board meeting.

Personnel changes effective at the end of the school year included:

• Resignation of Emily Walker as summer school supervisor.

• Resignation of Lyndsey Haars as assistant volleyball coach, Orion High School.

• Resignation of Dan Diamond as assistant wrestling coach, OHS.

• Resignation of Andrew Lister as junior class sponsor, OHS

• Resignation of Kaitlin Evans as special education teacher, C.R. Hanna Elementary School.

• Resignation of Kristen Holbrook as childcare provider, Extended School Program.

Resignations for the reason of retirement were:

• Kenis Johnson, school nurse, effective 2022.

• Denise Lund, special education teacher, Orion Middle School, effective 2025.

• Kim Hepner, eighth grade science teacher, OMS, effective 2025.

The board hired:

• Natalie Parrett as summer school supervisor.

• Kaitlin Hutchcroft as Spanish teacher, OHS.

Facility upgrades

The school board approved refinancing $920,200 in general obligation bonds through BankORION. Superintendent Joe Blessman said the old interest rate was 4.3 percent. The new interest rate will be 2 percent, meaning the district will save more than $100,000 while paying off the bonds in the same year.

Blessman listed summer projects include putting steel roofs on the concession stand, weight room, booster barn, and track shed at OHS.

The district’s paving projects include parking lots at the bus barn and the high school, where the islands will be removed, and at C.R. Hanna.

Also, the custodial staff will install push-button deadbolts in classrooms at all of the schools.

Jeff Sandberg of Legat Architects, a resident of the Orion school district, delivered the results of an assessment of the facilities. He said the bones of all the buildings are good, but some damage needs to be repaired before it becomes worse.

For example, the OHS fire panels need to be replaced, the middle school’s HVAC systems need new control systems and C.R. Hanna needs a secure entrance and the early childhood education trailers need to be replaced.

In other business:

• The board presented certificates of merit to Orion High School students Lily Moen and Maggie Nedved, who were selected to the All-State Orchestra, and to their teacher Lauren Heiberger.

• Blessman said the district expects to have 100 percent in-person learning this fall. Remote learning will be provided only for those who have medical reasons for not taking the COVID-19 vaccine and who are quarantined.

Remote learning will still be available on snow days.