July 23, 2013 | Vol. 94, No. 171

Ironwood hires new elementary principal

IRONWOOD — The Ironwood Area School Board of Education approved the hiring of an elementary principal during Monday's meeting at Luther L. Wright School in Ironwood.

Cortney Ofstad/Daily Globe
IAN SHACKLEFORD, of the Safe Routes to School committee, speaks to the Ironwood Area School Board of Education during a meeting Monday at Luther L. Wright School in Ironwood. Shakleford presented findings from a student-parent survey about walking and biking to school.

The board approved the hiring of Nicholas Steinmetz, of St. Clair Shores, pending results from a background check of possible criminal history.

"We're looking forward to working with him," superintendent Tim Kolesar said.

Safe Routes

Ian Shackleford, of the Safe Routes to School committee, presented findings from a student-parent survey to board members about walking or biking to school.

According to Shackleford, most parents and students were in favor of the idea of walking or biking to school. However, many reasons against walking or biking included lack of sidewalks, too much snow, too far of distances and no companions to travel with.

To help with improving areas, the committee is developing an action plan. In addition to laying out specific locations along popular routes for improvement, the plan also helps enforce the idea of discouraging dangerous behaviors, teaching safe walking and biking skills, as well as motivating students and parents to support walking and biking to school.

Shackleford said that the committee would like to develop an action plan by September, and begin applying for grants in October. Grants available require no match from the communities and would help improve or create sidewalks or crosswalks and help with plowing and clearing pathways.

Board president Steve Thomas congratulated Shackleford and the committee on the time and effort put into the project.

"We're continuing to plug along, and things are going well," Shackleford said.

Murphy Law Office

Kolesar spoke to the board about possibly putting in a bid on Murphy Law offices on Aurora Street in Ironwood, as a possible location for the alternative school.

According to Kolesar, there many benefits to purchasing the location, including saving on rent, having the students do the janitorial work themselves and have lunch supplied from the school district instead of the Gogebic Ontonagon Community Action Agency, like it is currently.

Board member Leroy Johnson recommended Kolesar work with the building and grounds committee to come up with a pros and cons list about the building.

"I think that this would work really well for us," Kolesar said.

Other business

The board approved bids on bread for the lunch service program from Bimbo Bakeries, of Superior, Wis., and milk from Dean Foods and distributor Twin City Dairy, of Hurley.

An agreement with the Gogebic Ontonagon Intermediate School District to have the first grade students receiving iPads during the 2013-2014 school year was approved by the board.

The board also approved contracts with the girls' tennis team and ski teams for the upcoming school year. Both sports are self-funded.

Kolesar also recommended for the board to reach a cooperative agreement for the ski program with the Bessemer Area School District to allow students to join the program. The board approved to the agreement, and Kolesar said he would send the paperwork to the Bessemer School District for final approval.