By Sterling McGinn

Numerous faculty and staff resignations were submitted to the Tahquamenon Area Schools (TAS) Board of Education, including one from celebrated band teacher Sara Perfetti, which was received just hours before the start of the August board meeting.

The meeting took place in the TAS Library on Monday, August 15 at 6 p.m. President Stuart McTiver, along with trustees Puckett and Harris, were not in attendance. The meeting was chaired by vice-president Larry Vincent.

Perfetti, who was hired by the district several years ago, has served as the district’s band and music teacher and in the roll as student counsel and yearbook advisor. She is also been instrumental in her direction of and participation in plays at the Erickson Center for the Arts, and with volunteer efforts throughout the area.

The resignation came as a shock to the board members that evening, and was received with great disappointment.

TAS Superintendent Stacy Price said Perfetti is moving on to better her career and herself taking a job at a bigger school.  “This is a big hit,” said Price. “She is an asset to our communities, and we thank her for her dedication.”

The school is now on the search for a new band/music instructor. “I just found out today,” Price told the board.  “It’s very much a concern and I will be making some phone calls very shortly.”

No other information was discussed regarding band courses for the upcoming school year. The board voted to accept her resignation.

The board also received letters from K-6 grade computer teacher, Kaitlyn Robinson, and bus driver Christa Symonds. Junior Varsity basketball coach, Kristen Christiansen submitted her letter of resignation due to work obligations. All resignation letters were accepted.

Two new staff hires were also approved that evening. The board voted to hire Megan Holmes as the K-6 computer teacher and Kelly Belko as a K-6 counselor.

Price said that Belko will begin her position after January 1 as she is coming into the district as a hired intern.

Also approved was the hiring of Sarah Johnson as the middle school basketball coach and Colleen Duflo as middle school volleyball coach.

In other business, the board discussed the approval of athletic expense reinstatement. A number of years ago, the TAS board let go of baseball, softball and golf. The three sports are no longer under the umbrella of the school.

The Tahquamenon Area Schools Sports Boosters stepped in to sponsor the three sports to keep them going, but the club is asking the school to reinstate the three sports into the general fund, with continued support from Sports Boosters.

“Instead of sponsoring just three, the sports boosters would like to spread that amount among all sports,” said Price. “Supplies would be one thing. The amount would stay about the same—their current pay to us is around $13,000 to $16,000.”

She also noted that the coaches of the three sports are not under TAS, but that was changed several years ago, so that they would be protected under the school.

After discussion, the board voted to reinstate the three sports back into the school district.

Price also reminded the board that school starts Monday, August 29 and that everything is up and ready to go for the 2022-2023 school year.