The Daily Globe - Serving Gogebic, Iron and Ontonagon Counties

Bessemer school board hopes for continuing bond levy


March 29, 2019

P.J. Glisson/Daily Globe

PARTICIPATING IN Monday evening's Bessemer area board of education meeting are, from left, trustees Dick Matrella and Eric Stanislawski and secretary Beth Steiger. Matrella gave a report on maintenance needs in the schools, and Steiger read a resolution commending the Bessemer Speedboys varsity basketball team.


Bessemer - Members of the Bessemer school board of education voted Monday evening to approve the final debt payment in relation to refunding bonds in the amount of $132,436.56.

The board now hopes that voters will support a resolution to facilitate what superintendent Dave Wineburner has called "a continuation of our current levy" or a "no-tax increase bond proposal."

The board voted on Jan. 15 to accept that resolution and since then has been discussing a list of maintenance needs that could be addressed if voters support a continuing millage.

The unanimous vote at the January meeting was for a proposed 2.05 millage rate, which translates to $20.50 for every $10,000 of property on which a land owner is taxed.

Trustee Dick Matrella, who chairs the board's building and grounds committee, said Monday that its members have decided the priority in pending maintenance should be roofing on both A.D. Johnston Junior and Senior High School and Washington Elementary School.

"Right now, both of them are leaking," said Matrella, who noted that it has been 25 years since the Washington School roof was replaced. He guessed the high school roof had been done around the same time.

In addition, he said some of the walls are leaking in both schools.

According to Matrella, other important issues include boilers, exterior steps and windows.

Regarding all of the expenses, Matrella said, "Somehow, they have to be taken care of." He added that hopefully the pending millage, which is expected to go on the ballot in May, will provide the needed funds.

Board president Bob Berg and trustee Eric Stanislawski also are on Matrella's committee.

Speedboys honored

In other news, the board recognized members of the Bessemer Speedboys varsity basketball team with a resolution in honor of "high levels" of competition throughout their 2018-2019 season, during which they won 16 games next to five losses.

Secretary Beth Steiger read the resolution aloud, which declared, in part, "Whereas, the Speedboys defeated both Painesdale-Jeffers and Ewen-Trout Creek in the District Playoffs held in Ewen-Trout Creek to win the District Championship,

"Therefore let it be resolved, that these Speedboys served as role models for all future teams to emulate by winning 7 of their final 9 games while building on individual skills to create a team committed to excellence,

"Therefore, let it further be resolved that Head Coach Richard Matrella and Assistant Coach Mark Mazzon, along with all members of this outstanding 2018 - 2019 Speedboy Varsity Basketball Team, be recognized and commended for their efforts and outstanding accomplishments, which both the Bessemer Area School District and community are forever proud of."

All board members signed the resolution, and team members who were present then enjoyed pizza offered by the superintendent.

Board members also:

-Heard Alan Tulppo present an award to Henry Steiger for his participation in the First National Geography Bee. Steiger placed third out of 20 students in grades five through eight at the Jan. 18 event at the Gogebic-Ontonagon Intermediate School District in Bergland. Tulppo is the director of general education for the GOISD and will be its superintendent as of July.

-Learned from Wineburner that a public hearing on the proposed change in the school start time will be on April 23 at 3 p.m. Central Time at the GOISD office. The hearing will address the request by all GOISD schools to start the 2019 school year in the week before Labor Day.

-Learned that Mark Mazzon will be retiring as a math and business teacher at the end of this school year. Mazzon also has acted as head football coach, junior varsity basketball coach, and head track coach.

-Went into a closed session at the end of the meeting to discuss an evaluation of superintendent Wineburner, as mandated by the state within his first year of employment. President Bob Berg reported to the Globe afterward that they were unable to complete one segment and so have scheduled a special closed session meeting on April 10 and expect to vote on the acceptance at the end of that session.

-Heard Wineburner recognize new district employees recently hired. They are Alexis Headley, first grade; Brandy Babich, head cook; Dawn BeBeau, assistant cook; and Gordi Koski, Bruce Hamberg and John Racovitis, Jr., all in maintenance. Wineburner noted that maintenance workers already are doing "an outstanding job."

The board's next regular meeting will be on April 24 at 6 p.m. in the library of the A.D. Johnston Junior and Senior High School. The public is welcome.

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