By Sterling McGinn

The resignation of two staff members and a letter of retirement from a longtime teacher were on the agenda of the February meeting of the Tahquamenon Area Schools (TAS) Board of Education.

The meeting took place in the library on Monday, February 20 at 6 p.m. Four members of the public were in attendance. The meeting was chaired by Vice President Larry Vincent, because President Stuart McTiver could not attend.

Cossondra George, who has taught at TAS for many years, submitted a letter for her intent to retire from the district at the end of the 2022/2023 school year.

“Cossondra has been with the district for a long time and she has done a fabulous job in doing many different roles within the district,” said Superintendent Stacy Price. “She was mainly in the middle school with seventh and eighth grade students and was also a special education teacher. She will be missed—and we wish her the best.”

Following discussion, the board accepted her intent to retire at the end of the school year.

A letter of resignation was received from special education paraprofessional, Robynne Taylor. Taylor, who was new to the district, is resigning for health reasons.

The other resignation letter was submitted by Kynzie Mills, Occupational Therapy (OT) paraprofessional.

Mills was hired this year because the school had to offer virtual OT services virtually. “OTs are very hard to come by right now,” Price said. “We had to add on a paraprofessional to assist the OT virtually.”

Price said that due to circumstances, which were not mentioned that night, Mills needed to resign from her position. Price thanked both Taylor and Mills for their service during their time with the district.

In other news, the board held a special board meeting on Thursday February 9 to discuss the possible discipline of a TAS student.

The board met in closed session to discuss the matter. After reconvening in open session, the board voted to refrain from making a recommendation for disciplinary action until further information is received. No additional information has been released.

In her administrative report, Price updated the board on the ongoing school bond project. She said that the construction company is working to get a timeline for the project completed.

The bond project, which began with the replacement of the roof over the library, gym, cafeteria, and elementary school, will move to renovating the former second floor middle school in the new portion of the facility. The old high school will eventually be mothballed when the construction is completed.

Asbestos abatement will also be necessary prior to construction work.

“There are areas in the building with asbestos—lots of it is in tiles,” Price explained. “It is not being disturbed, so it is okay to be there, but during the construction process it will be disturbed.”

Price also told the board that she will probably be talking to a representative from Wolgast, the construction firm, on a daily basis.

Finally, the board went into closed session that evening for the purpose of a negotiation strategy session. After reconvening, the board adjourned.