By Ralph Echtinaw
The St. Louis Board of Education is short one member, as the resignation of Greg Walterhouse was accepted on Monday, April 15.
Walterhouse was elected as a write-in candidate in November 2016.
“I have worked my entire career in local government and more recently in higher education (as director of political science at Bowling Green State University in Ohio),” he said via email. I believe in contributing and serving the community which was my primary motivation for running for the board. The greatest investment we can make is in the education of our children.”
Walterhouse cited the completion of the “bond-funded facility projects and the continual academic improvement of our students,” as the highlights of his time on the board.
“The most rewarding part of the position was participating in graduation and watching our students graduate with a high percentage of the graduates receiving scholarships and moving on to college, trade schools or the military,” he said.
Asked to explain the job for anyone who might be interested in applying for an appointment to replace him, Walterhouse wrote:
“The work of the board does not require a substantial amount of time. Monthly board meetings are generally about an hour. There are occasional special meetings and numerous events throughout the school year that board members attend. There is also some time needed to review agenda packets before the meetings. In total probably three to four hours a month.”
“I would advise my replacement to meet with the superintendent to get brought up to speed, review the agenda packets before the meetings and not hesitate to ask questions beforehand,” Walterhouse said. “Also, reviewing the various documents and reports on the St. Louis Public Schools web site will provide considerable insight.”
Responsibilities of the school board include setting and approving district policies, approving the annual budget, approving contracts (including labor contracts), approving disbursements, approving expulsions and determining employee discipline if appealed to the board level. The board also conducts the annual performance evaluation of the superintendent.
“The community should be very proud of the work being done by the faculty, administration and school board,” Walterhouse said. “The current board is very cohesive, productive and supportive of improving SLPS and the academic outcomes for the students. The is a good complementary mix of expertise on the board. I will miss be a board member and a part of the St. Louis Public Schools community.”
Superintendent Kristi Teall had nothing but praise for Walterhouse. “Greg Walterhouse was a fantastic addition to our board of education,” she said via email. “He was well versed in collective bargaining agreements, negotiations, finance, public funding and strategic planning. Greg is just an overall nice person who had the desire to serve his community. He will be greatly missed, and his shoes will be hard to fill.”
Calling all applicants
If you’re interested in applying for appointment to the board, you must submit a letter expressing interest in the job and your qualifications no later than 4 p.m. Thursday, April 25. Letters can be mailed or hand delivered to the district office at 113 E. Saginaw Street, St. Louis, MI 48880.
Following a review of submitted material, the board will schedule interviews with selected candidates, Teall said. Not all candidates for the board vacancy will necessarily be interviewed. If you have questions concerning the role of the board and responsibilities of board members, call Teall at (989) 681-2545.
Whoever gets the appointment will serve until November 2020, when he or she must face the voters in order to continue on the board.
Remaining board members Jeff Baxter, Don Kelley, Carrie Beeson, John Pavlik, Carrie Salladay and Kelly Bebow will choose their new colleague at a meeting beginning 6 p.m. Monday, May 13, in the high school media center.
Mrs. Pilmore retires
Fourth-grade teacher Sheri Pilmore retired after 25 years in the district.
“She has taught in a few different capacities for us, but most of her time has been served at Nikkari Elementary in fourth grade,” Teall said. “She has given our community and our school system her absolute best and always with a smile. Sherri will be deeply missed. Her leadership for the building and the grade level she serves is top notch.”
More personnel moves
The also board approved the retirement of bus driver Ed Burgess, the resignation of JV volleyball coach Sheila Saurman and the hiring of Kristen Long as varsity girls basketball coach and Jason Luneack as a middle school physical education paraprofessional.
All board members were present.