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Hartford Schools recognize two employees with presentation of awards; celebrates School Board Month

The Hartford Public Schools (HPS) Board of Education met on Monday, Jan. 23 for their monthly business meeting. All board members except for Kurt Kuhnle were present. It was a quick meeting with just a few items on the agenda, but a substantial one. Great numbers were in attendance, with standing room only.

Recognition & Appreciation

Director of Curriculum, Assessment, and Safety, Bess Hodges, presented two certificates of recognition to staff members at the Monday evening meeting.

STUDENT SAFETY HONOR… Jeff Christner, District Bus Driver for Hartford Public Schools, received a Certificate of Recognition for his extraordinary commitment to student safety.

Jeff Christner, district bus driver, was honored for his extraordinary commitment to student safety. Hodges spoke graciously about Christner’s dedication and quick response to a situation involving student safety.

LEADERSHIP HONOR… Courtney Whitman, 4th grade teacher at Hartford’s Redwood Elementary, received a Certificate of Recognition for her outstanding leadership. (Contributed photos)

Courtney Whitman, 4th Grade teacher at Redwood Elementary, was honored for her outstanding leadership. Hodges shared how Whitman had stepped up and was a leader among her peers. These awards were the highlight of the night resulting in many supporters in attendance of these great staff members.

The board was also presented with gifts for School Board Appreciation Month. Many thanks were offered to those in attendance at the meeting, specifically to the staff who were recognized.

Board committees

Board President Mike Banic announced the preliminary committees and board representative list to his fellow board members and asked that they review and let him know of any changes that need to be made. Some notable assignments included, Lee Mireles was named to the seat on the Hartford Recreation Council, of which he’s also been a long-time active volunteer, and returning Board of Education member, Kurt Kuhnle, as the finance committee chair. Other committees and seats mentioned were Building and Sites, Policy, Academic Review, Scholarship, County Association and Hartford Foundation.

Superintendent Report

HPS Superintendent Brad Geesaman gave an update on the EPA Clean Bus Rebate Program that they were invited to apply for. Geesaman has acquired quotes on the electric, as well as the standard diesel busses to compare the cost-savings there. Also the district is in the process of gathering information on the required updates to electrical infrastructure and the options available there.

There was discussion around where the funding is being sourced. Superintendent Geesaman noted that a majority of funds would be covered by the rebate program offered if they choose to move forward with the project. Any costs beyond the scope of that program would be district funded. The deadline to decide whether or not to move forward is in April.

The Hartford football programs of the Middle and High School were given a $2,500 donation from a Hartford alumnus to support replacing the helmets of the two programs. Head Varsity Coach Joe Morsaw was in attendance at the meeting and noted how thankful the program is for the donation.

Superintendent Geesaman noted the open positions of Finance Director and School Nurse (RN). The district is exploring leads and hopes to have more details soon.

Student life

Hartford Student Representative, Kamryn Kyles gave her report from the high school. This week is Winterfest for the Huskies. Kyles promised those in attendance that she doesn’t dress like this for every meeting, as she had furry slippers and pajama pants on. Monday was pajama day and each day had a theme throughout the district buildings.

Friday there will be a pep rally for the high school and the Winterfest basketball game between the Hartford Huskies and the Lawrence Tigers. The winter formal is scheduled for the first weekend of February.

Kyles shared that the Hartford Jobs for Michigan’s Graduates Initiation and Installation ceremony will be taking place on Friday, Feb. 10, during the day at Hartford High School. House Representatives Joey Andrews of the 38th district and Beth Griffin of the 66th District are planning to attend. Representative Andrews is the event’s featured guest speaker.

Hartford’s Go Green Recycling Club was also awarded a grant to furnish the school with paper and plastic recycling receptacles through Van Buren Conservation District. Kyles mentioned that the group had the opportunity to have a photo with some of the conservation district members recently.

February meetings

The Hartford Public Schools Board of Education meets next on Monday, Feb. 6, 2023 at 6 p.m. for a work study session. Their business meeting is scheduled for Monday, Feb. 20 at 7 p.m., both in the Hartford Public Schools Central Office. Public are welcome to attend.

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