Personnel, building changes in Orion schools

Mindy Carls
Orion High School

When Orion students return to school on Monday, Aug. 16, they will see some new faces and some changes in their buildings.

At Orion High School, Alex Johnson resigned as social studies teacher, dean of students and varsity boys basketball coach. Replacing him will be Ethan “Mr. P” Podwojski as teacher, Abby Thomsen as dean and Larry Anderson as coach.

Cassie Kingsford also resigned as ag teacher, FFA sponsor, co-op coordinator and CTE director. During the first semester, Anne Gustus will be the ag teacher and FFA sponsor, and Mitchel White will be the ag mechanics teacher, a one-sixth time position.

Two other resignations at OHS were Jeff Ferry, after one season as varsity wrestling coach, and Sara Kershaw as National Honor Society advisor.

Lyndsey Haars has been hired as assistant volleyball coach.

After Cynthia VanDyke resigned as OHS cook, Shelley Bird was hired to replace her.

Resignations at OMS included Brandon Wilkerson, sixth grade math teacher, cross country coach and track coach. The school board hired Sean Shepard to replace him as a teacher, Jeff Wiedenmann as the cross country coach and Morgan Schroeder as an assistant track coach.

Also at OMS, Ted Leuck resigned as eighth grade boys coach, Brandon Taets as assistant football coach and Kim Taets as Student Council sponsor.

At C.R. Hanna Elementary School, Rachel Bollinger was hired as a first grade teacher. Sarah Wisslead resigned as a paraprofessional.

The school board approved paying $16,383 to Midwest Alarm Services at OHS, where the current system has been sending trouble signals. It is so old that parts are not available for repairs.

Faced with having to retire the trailer used for pre-school classes, the district is hiring an architect to prepare plans for a pre-school addition and remodeling plans at C.R. Hanna. The district will use $5.5 million in working cash bonds for the project, which could include a STEM classroom.

Completed summer maintenance projects include refinishing gym floors and stripping and waxing classroom floors.

At OHS, new desks were assembled and metal roofs were installed on athletic buildings. New cabinets are going into the chemistry lab.

Turf was installed in the middle school courtyard.

Parking lots have been prepped for asphalt and oiling. At OHS, the islands were removed from the student parking lot.

Some classrooms were repainted, and 37 Promethean interactive whiteboards are being installed in rooms.