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Tag Archive | "Board of Education"

2015 Board of Education Meetings


The Cedar Springs Public Schools Board of Education welcomes attendance of the public and school staff at its meetings.

A school board meeting is the only means by which a school board can carry out its legal duties or exercise its legal powers.  As such, the primary purpose of a school board meeting is to transact business.  Secondarily, school board meetings provide opportunities for creative and constructive decision-making by members of the board while attempting to reach consensus on strategic issues.  In addition, school board meetings offer an opportunity for the public and staff to address the Board of Education.

Location:  Hilltop Community Building

Board Room – 3rd Floor @ 6:45 PM

November 9 – regular meeting

November 23  – work session

December 14 – regular meeting

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7th grade band performs

Band Teacher Adam Hendry brought members of the 7th grade band to the 4-13-15 Board of Education Meeting for a spectacular performance. What a show!

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Gators demonstrate successful reading program

At the February 9th Board of Education Meeting, Principal Ken See brought along his GATORS team and students to demonstrate this successful reading program. Board members were asked to check out how this program works. Great job GATORS! Keep up the good work!

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November 10 Board of Education Meeting Math & Writing Presentations by Cedar Trails Students

Cedar Trails students and parents poured into the November 10 Board of Education Meeting with their teachers to share all their great work with Math and Writing Samples with the Board of Education members.  It was a great evening for all.  It was very inspiring to see these young students excited about learning.


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School board hires new superintendent

red hawkBy Judy Reed

Associate Superintendent David Cairy received a standing ovation from 200 staff members, parents, and community members after his final interview Wednesday evening, but he didn’t get the votes from the Board of Education.

Instead, they voted 5-2 to hire Dr. Laura VanDuyne, a candidate from California, who has ties to the area and was looking to move back to Michigan. She has served as Executive Director of the State SELPA, Contra Costa Special Education Joint Powers Authority since 2010.

The decision angered and saddened many who were present for the interviews.

Trustees Shannon Vanderhyde and Jeff Gust were the two dissenting votes.

The board had the public fill out feedback forms after the interviews and turn them in, and the board sifted through them during recess. They then took a straw poll to see where they stood.

Vanderhyde said that she was saddened by the direction the board seemed to be moving in. She said that one of the comments on the feedback form stuck with her, that Laura would have a big learning curve. “I don’t want my three kids to have a big learning curve,” she said. “I want them to have the best of the best. With Dave, we can start tomorrow.”

Trustee Todd Hanson said he didn’t think there would be a huge learning curve, noting that staff would still be there doing a great job. “And if not, then maybe they are not as loyal as they say,” he remarked.

The remark brought a big boo from the crowd, and several people walked out.

Vanderhyde questioned why they bothered to get the feedback if they weren’t going to use it.

Trustee Joe Marckini said he must’ve gotten different feedback than Shannon, and that he was out talking to people. And if people didn’t like his decision, they could recall him.

Trustee Patricia Eary thought an outsider would bring a fresh perspective. President Brooke Nichols said she had a gut feeling about Van Duyne the first time she interviewed.

Those who voted for Van Duyne—President Brooke Nichols, Todd Hanson, Patricia Eary, Matt Shoffner, and Joe Marckini—all had good things to say about Cairy, but seemed to feel that Van Duyne had the skills to move the district forward.

Shoffner remarked that he felt the two of them working together—Van Duyne a global thinker and Cairy a detailed thinker—would make a good team.

After the official vote, the silence in the room was deafening. Trustee Shannon VanderHyde dissolved into tears.

Some members approached the board and thanked them for their work, while others left the room or talked quietly among themselves.

A committee will work on contract negotiations with Van Duyne, and then bring that back to the board for approval.



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Superintendent announces retirement

Superintendent Ron McDermed

Superintendent Ron McDermed

As you may be aware, our Superintendent Ron McDermed, has announced that he is retiring at the end of this school year. We are grateful to him for his many years of service to the education community and are sad to see him go.

As we begin the process of hiring a new Superintendent, we would like to have input from staff, parents and community members to see what they value in that leadership role. Feel free to attend upcoming Board of Education meetings or e-mail any board member with your thoughts.

Thank you! 

Brook Nichols, School Board President

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Board of Education 2013—2014


Brook Nichols—President

Joe Marckini—Vice President

Todd Hanson—Secretary

Matthew Shoffner—Treasurer

Jeff Gust—Trustee

Shannon Vanderhyde—Trustee

Patricia Eary—Trustee


Board of Education Meeting Dates

Board of Education meetings are open to the public and will be held at 6:45 p.m. in the Board Room of the Hilltop Community Resource Center (third floor) unless otherwise specified.

August 26   Work Session

September 9, 23

October 14

October 28   Work Session

November 11, 25

December 9

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Fine Arts Night

Fine Arts Night @ CSHS Auditorium

Tuesday, April 23 6:30pm – 8:00


Come check out all the visual art displays, and performances by the choirs, band and drama students


Early Release Day – April 26 & May 10

Board of Education Regular Meeting – May 13

New Beginnings Graduation Ceremony – May 23
@ Red Hawk Elementary 7:00pm

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Upcoming Dates

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School elections to be held in November

Board members’ terms extended to 6 years

The Cedar Springs Board of Education approved changes in their board policy last week that brings them in compliance with a new state law regarding when elections are held. They also extended the number of years board members will serve to six years.

Under the new Michigan state law, school districts must hold elections during the general elections in November of even-numbered years beginning January 1, 2012. Board elections have previously been held in May of each of year.

“Utilizing a standard election cycle will cut administrative costs and help schools maintain focus on educating students,” said Governor Rick Snyder. “This change allows for more consolidated elections so voters have the best opportunity to make their voices heard.”

It will also be a cost savings for districts. In the past, school districts were billed by the municipalities for holding the election. But, according to Cedar Springs City Clerk Linda Branyan, that should no longer be the case. “It’s my understanding that if an election is already being held (in this case a general election), then the municipality absorbs the cost,” she explained. “The only exception would be if something special had to be purchased for the election.”

Since 2004, districts have had the option of conducting school board elections during the odd-year general election, the odd-year May regular election, the November regular election in odd and even years, or the May regular election in even and odd years.

Under the new law, a board member’s term would begin January 1 following the election. To make that happen, Cedar Springs needed to vote to extend current members’ terms from June 30 to December 31. And because elections will only be held every two years, some board members will receive an extension of six months and others a year and a half. Tim Avery and Brook Nichols terms will now expire Dec. 31, 2012 instead of June 30; Matt Shoffner, Shannon Vanderhyde and Todd Hanson’s terms will expire Dec. 31, 2014. Hanson’s was set to expire in 2013.  Jeff Gust and Joseph Marckini’s terms were set to expire in June 2015, but will now expire December 31, 2016.

Besides amending their policy to change election dates, Cedar Springs Board of Education also voted to change future board members’ terms to 6 years, to avoid a 4-3 member rotation schedule. If they kept it at 4 years, 4 people would be up for reelection in 2016 and 3 people in 2018. A six-year schedule means only 2 or 3 people would be up for reelection at a time.

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