The wheels of administrative change kept turning Tuesday night as the Saline Area Schools Board of Education approved the appointment of Emily Sickler as the new assistant principal of Saline Middle School.
Sickler, a longtime elementary-level educator in the district, told trustees she is thrilled to begin the next phase of her career.
“I am really excited to form relationships with the families and the staff and the students at Saline Middle School,” she said. “I’m especially excited to work with Brad (Bezeau) and the rest of the Saline Middle School staff just to ensure that we’re doing the best possible thing for our earliest adolescents socially, emotionally and academically, and I think we can work really hard on that.”
Bezeau was appointed principal of Saline Middle School in April.
Sickler is the daughter of Kim Van Hoek, who retired from Saline Area Schools as Principal of Houghton Elementary in 2003.
In other action, trustees approved $273,821 for technology purchases related to Next Generation Classroom upgrades and staff laptop acquisition.
Assistant Superintendent Janice Warner explained the details of the transaction prior to the affirmative vote.
“I think this is the fourth request for technology from the bond funds and these are for the Next Generation Classrooms coming on board this year and also for district office staff refreshment, and then to have some additional laptops for new staff that we’re hiring,” she said. “Typically, the older laptops go into service in other areas.”
Warner said 47 new Next Generation Classrooms will be added this year, bringing the district’s total to close to 100.
With the following action item, trustees approved $127,723 for cultural arts equipment purchases, as well as $6,302 for radios.
Warner said both are also derived from bond funds and that the cultural arts equipment has to do with digital audio and projector systems, while the radios will be used by buildings and grounds staff.
Superintendent Scot Graden emphasized how important he feels it is that the antiquated cultural arts equipment be updated, given the current setup was installed in 2000 and that groups have been reluctant to use it because of lackluster performance.
As for discussion items, Graden presented to the board the results of a school climate survey that was sent out across the district in April.
It was also administered at districts around the country, which Graden said is important given it will provide an in-depth benchmark to compare Saline schools against.
He said the key metric is “overall perceptions of school quality.”
“If you look at it, certainly, from a parent’s standpoint, and over 1,500 parents fill out the survey, that well over 90 percent, almost 96 percent, feel that the school is either excellent or good,” Graden said, also citing positive staff perception of school quality in the 90 percent range.
Later, trustees had a small discussion of the ongoing bond construction work, with Graden saying a “move-in” meeting will take place Monday with the construction team.
Additionally, Graden said he is keeping his eye on last minute equipment issues and office furniture installation, which need to be completed in a very short timeframe prior to the start of the school year.
Overall, he said he is happy with where things stand currently.
“I can tell you right now that we’re on schedule with all of our projects,” Graden said, mentioning that they are also under budget.
The next regular board of education meeting will be on Sept. 13 at Liberty School.