By Sterling McGinn

Volunteers with group known as “People who Care” will begin having lunch with students at school, said Newberry High School Principal Trevor Clark.

“I am going to be contacting those groups that already completed the Ichat [background check] and we are going to start with them coming into our lunches to interact with students before we branch out further,” Clark said.

Clark updated the Tahquamenon Area Schools (TAS) board at their regular meeting on Monday night.

He said that he wants to meet with the volunteers before they begin coming into the school to go over the basic school rules.

“In the form that they sign, if there are any issues, they are to please find the nearest staff member or contact central office,” said Clark.

The volunteers will begin interacting with the students at lunches since there will be staff members present. If the program branches out, the volunteers will need to be fingerprinted, which is a requirement for anyone working one-on-one with students.

In other business, the board hired Nicole Gustafson as the new K-12 music teacher for the remainder of the 2023-2024 school year.

“The position is until the end of the year knowing at this point, we don’t know what the future and position will hold,” said Superintendent Stacy Price. “Ms. Gustafson has come in and she understands this. It’s a position that has been very hard to fill.”

Gustafson replaces Catherine Clark, who recently resigned from the position.

Gustafson will teach 6th, middle school and high school bands, elementary music and high school fine arts. The high school band will attend district band festival in Rudyard this Friday.

Finally, the board convened in closed session that evening for the purpose of student discipline.

Following the return to open session, the board voted to suspend the student for 14 days. They are also not allowed on the premises or at activities during this time and they must give a presentation to 6th grade students on consequences of actions prior to March 21 and interaction guidance of school resource officer and Trevor Clark. If incomplete, the student finishes the remainder of a 45-day suspension.