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January is School Board Recognition Month

By: Maria Allard | Warren Weekly | Published January 10, 2020

 Gifts will be presented to local school boards this month as January is School Board Recognition Month.

Gifts will be presented to local school boards this month as January is School Board Recognition Month.

File photo by Deb Jacques

WARREN/CENTER LINE/STERLING HEIGHTS — They spend long hours reading educational materials, attending school functions and making difficult decisions that are sometimes  unpopular. They do the job because they love it.

This month, staff and students from local school districts will honor their local school boards in observing January as School Board Recognition Month.

Plans were set for Center Line Public Schools Superintendent Eve Kaltz to recognize the district’s school board at its Jan. 13 meeting, after press time. Also, as in past years, Kaltz will send letters of recognition to the school board members’ employers to let them know about the community service their employees are doing. Center Line also has set aside time at future board meetings for the next couple months for students to make presentations and present gifts to the school board members.

In Van Dyke Public Schools, the school board will be acknowledged at a meeting this month. Each board member also will be invited to a district building for a visit, to meet with the students and do a special activity. This is a practice Van Dyke has done for several years.

“It works out really well,” Van Dyke Superintendent Piper Bognar said. “The school board members get to rotate through and get more one-on-one time with the staff and students.”

Bognar likes the idea of January being School Board Recognition Month.

“We have a wonderful and supportive Board of Education,” Bognar said. “They give so much of their own time. They want to see Van Dyke successful in the future.”

A dinner was scheduled for Jan. 13, after press time, to recognize the Fitzgerald Public Schools Board of Education prior to its monthly school board meeting. They were to be honored by district Superintendent Laurie Fournier with a certificate and a small gift of appreciation. Plans also were scheduled to show a video highlighting district students and staff thanking them for all they do.

“The Fitzgerald board is a very dedicated group of individuals. They are active members of the community, support student growth and achievement and want what’s best for our kids,” Fournier stated in an email. “They have had to make difficult decisions which positively affect our children and build our community. Even though we are making a special effort during January to show our appreciation, we recognize that their contributions reflect a year-round commitment. Fitzgerald is very fortunate to have such thoughtful and dedicated community members guiding and supporting our schools. I truly appreciate their continued support and all they do for our students, staff and community.”

In Warren Woods Public Schools, school officials will formally celebrate the board at a special meeting Jan. 27. Individuals from each school building will have a token of appreciation for every board member. The WWPS Board of Education has a combined total of more than 100 years of service to the community.

“That longevity is what contributes to our district’s stability and success. Our current board members are a wonderful group of community members with an extraordinary dedication to our students.  They volunteer their time to our district and we value their service to our students, staff and community,” Superintendent Stacey Denewith-Fici said via email.

“Their job is to establish a vision for the education program, design a structure to achieve that vision, ensure schools are accountable to the community and strongly advocate for continuous improvement in student learning,” she continued. “Their decisions are complex in nature and are not made lightly. They spend countless hours reviewing research, attending meetings and enjoying events at each building. The job of a school board member is tough; the hours are long and often keep them away from their own families. We thank them for their tireless efforts.”

At the Jan. 15 school board meeting, Superintendent Robert Livernois will recognize the Warren Consolidated Schools Board of Education. A resolution will be read and the members will receive a small token of appreciation.


Vacancy on Center Line Public Schools Board of Education

CENTER LINE/WARREN — Center Line Public Schools Board of Education member Gary Shimer has stepped down from the board. He submitted a letter of resignation Jan. 1, effective immediately, to the board and Superintendent Eve Kaltz.

Shimer was first elected to the school board in November 2016. An individual will be appointed to fill the position through the Nov. 3, 2020 election. That individual will be replaced by the elected candidate, who will then serve the final two years of the vacant term through Dec. 31, 2022.

The appointee may choose to run for the open board seat — a partial, two-year term. The filing deadline to apply with the Macomb County Clerk’s  Office is 4 p.m. July 21, 2020.

Those interested in the interim appointment must submit a letter expressing interest in the board position and their qualifications along with a resume to Sue Pauling at by noon Jan. 17.

Following a review of the submitted materials, the board will schedule interviews Jan. 20 with selected candidates. Not all candidates for the board vacancy will be interviewed. For further questions concerning the role of the Board of Education and the responsibilities of a board trustee, contact Kaltz at or (586) 510-2001.

— Maria Allard