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08-22-2019 Hartford Schools expand public relations efforts with new hire; American Legion Auxiliary

CELEBRATES 100TH BIRTHDAY… Robert Hathoway, a 1939 Coloma High graduate and a former resident of Millburg for 45 years who now resides in Tonopah, Arizona, had over 50 family members from Michigan, Kentucky, Texas, Colorado and Arizona join him in Mesa, Arizona to help him celebrate his 100th birthday on June 27, 2019. Pictured are Robert Hathoway and his first grandchild Joseph Becker Jr. and a five-generation gathering of family. Shown here (from the left): Front row – Nora Italiano, August Steinke, Titus Italiano, Grace Steinke; Middle row – Mike Steinke, Nate Italiano, Roberta Becker, Bob Hathoway; Back row – Terry Steinke, Time Steinke, Andy Steinke, Jennifer Italiano and Tessa Italiano.

Wendzels wed 65 years

Alton and Millie Wendzel celebrated their 65th wedding anniversary on Aug. 14 with a dinner cruise on Partytime Cruise Lines. They were married on Aug. 14, 1954 in Benton Harbor at St. Matthew’s Lutheran Church. They have lived their entire married life in Bainbridge Township. Their children are Bradley (Joyce) Wendzel, Jill Szotek, and Gregory Wendzel (deceased). They have four granddaughters: Pauline, Alyson, and Haleigh Wendzel and Alexandreanna Szotek. Also three great-grandchildren: Benjamin and Faline Szotek and Colton Irving.

American Legion Auxiliary Yard Sale Saturday, Aug. 31

The American Legion Auxiliary is hosting a yard sale on Saturday, Aug. 31 at American Legion Post 362, corner of Red Arrow Hwy and Sassafras Street in Coloma. Public is invited to rent space and participate in the sale, or just come to shop. Call Christine (269-325-2865) or Kristy (269-621-5617) to reserve a space.

THESE KUTE KIDS ARE… Skylar Grace Holwerda, age 2, and Bryson Mitchell Holwerda, age 3, being like monkeys and climbing the play set. Their proud parents are Logan Holwerda from Kalamazoo and Lauren Richardson from Watervliet. Grandparents Rick & Jennifer Radde – South Bend IN, Rob & Tiffany Richardson – Millburg, Tammy & Danl Kissinger – Bellevue MI, and Spencer & Mary Holwerda – Kalamazoo adore these smiling faces of Skylar and Bryson. These two kuties are the great-grandchildren of Jim and Marilyn Nord of Watervliet.

Hartford Schools expand public relations efforts with new hire

By Jon Bisnett At its August 19 business meeting, the Hartford school board unanimously approved the hiring of Ally Sinclair who will serve as the district’s first Communications and Public Relations Specialist. The new position was created following over two years of the board studying public relations matters; that of keeping pace with modern communications while also remaining viable in the era of competition for student enrollment under schools of choice. Six applications boiled down to four viable candidates resulting in three interviews. Sinclair is a 2016 graduate of Hartford and currently completing degree work in communications at Western Michigan University. She will initially maintain a 20-30 hour a week schedule while attending college, tasked primarily with the district website and social media updates while also coordinating public information from the various departments and buildings within the district. A compensation package for Sinclair, including both salary and barter of tuition assistance was developed by Superintendent Andy Hubbard and Business Manager Rebecca Drake to reflect the appropriate ratio of time spent onsite and attending of college courses to the betterment of the position. Finance Business Manager Rebecca Drake presented routine expenses for approval with notable expenses of planned capital outlays. Middle school carpeting and replacement lockers are complete as are lockers for the high school. Drake projects solid financial forecast through the remainder of the current school year, despite the fact that legislators have yet to finalize the actual per student funding from the State of Michigan. That deadline is September 30. Additionally, after reviewing proposals from Coke and Pepsi, Drake recommended the board renew a 5-year beverage contract with Pepsi for the exclusive use of their products. The measure was approved unanimously.

Personnel A lot of last-minute shuffling has occurred just prior to the start of the new school year led by the retirement of 21-year veteran Brad Hackman, Kindergarten teacher. Tina Brink has resigned after four years in part-time food service to take full-time employment in the medical field. Elementary Special Education teacher Jason Hires is moving to a position in his hometown of Lakeshore in addition to the resignation of paraprofessional Amanda Horn. The kindergarten position has already been filled by Melissa Maciowski, who comes to the district following several years of service at the Van Buren Intermediate School District. Food Service Director Angela Glover has covered the food service vacancy while postings and interviews are in progress for the remaining slots to be filled.

NEW POSITION… 2016 Hartford alumnus Ally Sinclair becomes the newest addition to the administrative team of the Hartford Public Schools. She will serve as Communications and Public Relations Specialist for the district. (TCR photo by Jon Bisnett)

Superintendents Report Superintendent Hubbard noted upcoming events with new teacher orientation scheduled for Thursday, Aug. 22 and the popular Back to School Bash Tuesday the 27th from 5-7:00 p.m. An all-staff luncheon will be held at noon on Thursday the 29th which is also the evening of the Indians first varsity football game. Capital outlay project work around the district includes completion of middle school carpet and lockers, high school girls locker room locker installation, MS gymnasium divider curtain installation, along with painting throughout the MS/HS campus. Additionally, new HS athletic locker flooring and lighting is also complete. Hubbard reports Marilyn Mead and Nora Aquirre are off and running in their new positions of Student Information Specialist and Middle School Secretary, respectively. Bus drivers are still being sought, as is the plight of all districts in the county. The Elementary Special Education teacher spot is seeking applicants currently. Hubbard also announced the addition of five new paraprofessionals joining the district team for fall including Amy Shaw – MS Special Education, Monica Anderson – Redwood at Risk, Monica Torres – Redwood ESL, Deb Stainbrook – Redwood Title I, and Betty Hernandez also Redwood Title I Having no further business President Chambers adjourned the meeting. The board meets next on Monday, Sept. 16.

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