The Daily Globe - Serving Gogebic, Iron and Ontonagon Counties

Wakefield-Marenisco bids fond farewell to superintendent


June 19, 2018

P.J. Glisson/Daily Globe

P.J. Glisson/Daily Globe SITTING BEHIND a cake that says "No alarm clocks, no commute, no problem" is Wakefield-Marenisco superintendent Catherine Shamion at the end of her final board of education meeting Monday evening. Helping her to celebrate in school board chambers are, from left: business manager Tina Trevarthen and board members Marcia Vestich, Dan Obradovich, Stacie Rooni, Marg Lynott and Brad Dalbec.


Wakefield - As the outgoing superintendent of the Wakefield-Marenisco School District, Catherine Shamion attended her final board of education meeting on Monday evening.

She was feted in the school's board chambers with a beautiful cake and showered with appreciation from all attending board members.

"It has been my pleasure to be your board president for the total time you've been here," said Brad Dalbec, who also passed on thanks from an unidentified parent who wrote that she "truly enjoyed (Shamion) as a superintendent and as a person."

"You have made it really fun, and you've done a great job," said trustee Marg Lynott.

"You've made our school better," said trustee Dan Obradovich, who added, "I couldn't have worked for a better superintendent."

"I think you've done a wonderful job for our district," said treasurer Marcia Vestich. "Even the kids like you."

Board secretary Stacie Rooni also wished Shamion luck and happiness in her retirement.

Board vice president Micki Sorensen and trustee Brandon Yuchasz were unable to attend Monday's meeting.

Shamion told board members she was expressing her thoughts in a letter included in the agenda packet. "I didn't want to speak them out loud because I didn't think I could," she said, adding the letter brought tears to her eyes.

In her letter, Shamion said, "We have not agreed 100 percent of the time, but in nine years very few of the meetings have been contentious, very few times did you question my recommendations and you never questioned my integrity or my dedication to our school and our students. That is something very few superintendents can say of their boards of education and I truly appreciate that."

The letter also concludes, "It has been my honor and pleasure to serve as your superintendent for the past nine years. I am proud of our accomplishments and I leave the district knowing that you will be in Jason's extremely capable hands. Thank you for the best nine years of my administrative career."

In referring further to incoming superintendent Jason Gustafson, Shamion said during the meeting, "I have the utmost confidence in Jason to be an excellent superintendent."

She asked the board to give him "support, confidence and trust" and assured he "will do well for this school district."

In other news, Shamion told the board she heard "nothing but compliments" on the school's junior-senior band performances during Memorial Day ceremonies in Wakefield and Marenisco.

Moreover, Shamion said three anonymous ladies from Lake Gogebic were so impressed by the students that they paid for their lunch after the ceremonies.

Shamion and board members expressed gratitude and pleasure for the unknown ladies' thoughtfulness.

After a related budget hearing that business manager Tina Trevarthen steered before the meeting, the board also:

-Voted to okay an anticipated unreserved fund balance of $349,883 in the general fund of the 2018-2019 fiscal year district budget.

-Voted to pass budget amendments on the current 2017-2018 fiscal year district budget.

-Voted to pass a football co-op agreement in relation to the Gogebic Miners football team shared by Wakefield-Marenisco, Bessemer and Ironwood.

-Voted to accept policy updates from Neola, an Ohio-based educational consulting firm.

-Voted to make the current school year's pilot Senior Exit Project an official part of the school's continuing curriculum and agreed with Shamion that teachers Amanda Lopac and Christopher Tweiten deserved recognition for creating the program and helping students to complete it.

-Expressed condolences and best wishes for persons in the Copper Country region who experienced what Dalbec called "devastating" results from flash floods during the past weekend's thunderstorms.

At a special meeting on July 11, the board also voted to hire Matthew Weber as the school's secondary special education teacher for the coming year.

The school board's next meeting will be on July 23 at 5 p.m. in the school's second floor board chambers.


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