Negotiations stall on agreement for new superintendent at Tecumseh Public Schools

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Kelly Coffin.

Tecumseh School Board President Ed Tritt updated the trustees on the progress of contract negotiations with Dr. Kelly Coffin, whom the board selected from among five other finalists to become the next superintendent of schools, replacing Mike McAran who will be retiring effective June 30 of this year.

Tritt said that the issue of a contract for Coffin is “still in committee.” The contract appeared on the agenda for action Monday night, but was removed during the portion of the meeting reserved for revisions to, or approval of, the agenda.

At the March 11 board meeting, trustees were told that a mutually acceptable contract was nearing completion, and it was hoped that a final draft would be ready for a vote at the March 25 meeting.

Coffin was given the nod for the position by the board in special session at the end of the interview process, Wednesday, Feb. 20. She is currently assistant superintendent for special education at the Lenawee Intermediate School District.

“We will be meeting with her next week,” Tritt said, “and hopefully it [the new superintendent’s contract] will be on the next agenda.”

If no agreement can be reached, the board has the options of offering the position to one of the other final candidates or beginning the superintendent search again from scratch.

Also on Monday evening’s agenda was the presentation to the board of McAran’s official letter of retirement.

Board Vice President Jim Rice commented wryly to McAran as he read the document, “This letter is really in your style, Mike; short, sweet, and to the point. We accept your retirement with regret.”

The board heard a presentation by Anne Walker on the need for voter support for the millage renewal and additional millage for the Tecumseh District Library. Walker told the board and members of the audience that the 1.15 renewal millage (Proposal 1) is critical for the facility’s operation and added that Proposal 2 for an additional .2 mill adds only a few cents more per month for the average homeowner but would allow the library to meet patrons’ growing needs and expectations.

“The extra .2 mill is at the low end of what we require to keep the library at its current level of excellence,” Walker said. “For my house, the total millage comes to $18. That’s less than the price of a book.” She also noted that the library is currently getting less money from the expiring levy due to the drastic decline in property values caused by the recession.

The election will be held Tuesday, May 7, and anyone living in the Tecumseh School District is eligible to vote.

Friends of Tecumseh Community Pool representative Steve Linn addressed the board on the organization’s behalf to donate $2,700 that will be used to purchase and install record boards in the pool. There will be separate boards for high school, middle school, and youth record holders.

Lin and fellow FTCP member Mark Wolfe told the board of the fundraisers that the group had conducted to make the donation and other improvements to the facility. The board accepted the gift with unanimous approval.

The board also approved:

• Two requests for overnight trips, one to Rome, Italy, June 11 – 17, and one for the seniors’ annual mystery trip.

• The employees’ deferred compensation and cafeteria (health) plans.

The next school board meeting will be Monday, April 8, at 7 p.m. in the administrative services building, 212 N. Ottawa St.




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