SJPS district will try out new mechanic, accepts pair of resignations

By Tony Wittkowski | Business Reporter | The Herald-Palladium

ST. JOSEPH — The St. Joseph school board has the same meeting every July over standard procedures.

Monday’s meeting wasn’t any different as the board was given the tasks of establishing what bank the school district uses, the time, date and location of each meeting for the 2015-16 school year, as well as its next mechanic for school vehicles.

Each board meeting next year will be held at the same time on the same day with the exception of the May meeting. The locations are predominantly at the Administrative Conference Room, but switch to all other schools within the district at least once.

“The meetings also post at alternate locations,” said Superintendent Ann Cardon. “We try to get into all of the buildings to showcase what each school has to offer.”

The board entered into an agreement with Speed Wrench – a Grand Rapids-based company – on a monthly basis for all mechanical services. Cardon said the district had a full-time mechanic before, but he resigned at the end of this year.

Chief Financial Officer Kathleen Hamilton said Speed Wrench has done work for the district in the past, as the deciding factor came when speaking with other school districts.

“The agreement will be for them to come and service our buses two days a week,” Hamilton said. “It will be a month-to-month contract until we see how that feels. We’ve had a lot of good comments from other districts that used them.”

Cardon told the board of two letters of resignation she received.

One came over the weekend from Madeline Kleinhample who taught the fourth grade at E.P. Clarke Elementary School. The other was from Michelle Allison, who had been named the new special education director for the school district last month.

“As you know, (Allison) changed her mind about moving across the state, which I’m glad she decided now instead of August,” Cardon told the board.

The board also decided to designate Fifth Third Bank in St. Joseph as the depository for all school funds for the 2015-16 fiscal year.

“Fifth Third has been helpful throughout the year whenever we are in need of advice,” Cardon said. “We have looked at diversifying several of our funds, but this is our recommendation for this year.”

The next board meeting is at 6 p.m., Aug. 10 in the Administrative Conference Room.

Contact Tony Wittkowski at or (269) 932-0358. Follow him on Twitter @tonywittkowski.

(Author’s Note: This article was originally published on July 14, 2015)


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