Longstanding, respected RCAS employees announce retirements

by Peter Jakey–2017-2AManaging Editor

Familiar faces and names will be leaving the Rogers City Area Schools at the end of the school year.

The board of education approved the retirements of teacher Mike Kosiara and food service supervisor Diane Schultz during Monday’s meeting in the high school library.

Kosiara, who was named 2017-18 Rogers City Teacher of the Year, has been with the district for 25 years. He has wore a lot of teaching hats during his tenure in the district and ends his career as a secondary English/language arts teacher.

He coached junior varsity and varsity football for 18 years and has been instrumental in keeping the yearbook going in Rogers City.

Board member Devin Pommerenke said he is sad to see Kosiara go. “He had the most influential effect on my higher learning and he will be truly missed,” said Pommerenke. “He is a tremendous teacher.”

O’Bryant said Kosiara will be volunteering his time to make sure there is a smooth transition for the yearbook program.

Schultz has worked 29 years in Rogers City.

“Mrs. Schultz will be working with us to train the next food service supervisor,” said superintendent David O’Bryant.

The retirements will be effective, June 30.

“The board wishes them well during their retirement,” stated O’Bryant.

“My oldest has had Mr. Kosiara as a teacher and all of my kids know Diane from her work in the kitchen,” said board president Ivy Cook. “I’m sure they will still be talking about them for years to come. They will be very big shoes to fill for the district.”

A coach also announced his resignation. Chris Shay is stepping down as junior varsity volleyball coach.

“Good luck to him in his future endeavors,” said Pommerenke.

Additionally, Sarah Meredith will rejoin the Rogers City softball program as a junior varsity softball coach. Meredith is a four-time, first-team catcher for RCHS who currently plays at Ferris State University.

IN OTHER news:

The board scheduled a budget hearing for the June meeting. The hearing will be June 12 at 6:30 p.m.

The challenge will be to estimate a budget for the 2017-18 school year based on many assumptions and unknown factors, according to O’Bryant.

“Per past practice, I am recommending that we hold the hearing the same night of the regular June board meeting,” O’Bryant stated in the agenda notes.

The board approved the middle school student sale of Yankee Candles because it unexpectedly exceeded the $1,000 board-approval requirement.

During the public comment period, Shannon McKinstry said she listened to the audio from the last two board meetings and commented:

“I am concerned with how some board members are wasting the energy of the entire board, not to mention the possible ethical or legal issues that could arise from that behavior. I encourage you, as a school board, to focus on the important things like school policies and academics, rather than conduct a witch hunt.”

Former board president John Krajenta, who lost his seat in the last election, was the second to speak. He has been at the last two meetings.

“I would like to say something in terms of communication. It is one of the key things the board has with the superintendent and at the last board meeting it was verbally stated with the community that it was not the ability to speak to the superintendent over an issue – that’s not good policy, that’s not good procedure, it’s not good behavior,” said Krajenta.

“If it is a problem with an individual on the board, not to be able to communicate with the superintendent, then that person can go to another board member and the two of you can go talk with the (superintendent) and deal with the issues.”

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Corrections: the print version of this week’s edition stated Anthony Friday was hired as the new food supervisor. The board opted to not act on the motion and removed the agenda item at the start of the meeting. Additionally, a quote from Ivy Cook was attributed to the wrong person. The Advance apologizes for these errors.