New Member of the Vicksburg School Board

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Members of the Vicksburg school board in front from left to right: Tina Forsyth, Skip Knowles, Carol Lohman. In back: David Schriemer, Wil Emmert, Rudy Callen, Dan Grabowski.

By Sue Moore

Class sizes look pretty good, Superintendent Keevin O’Neill reported to the Vicksburg School Board at its early September meeting. “To my knowledge, Sunset Lake Elementary only had one family that chose to transfer out of the district at the opening of school. The enrollment in the building is nearly the same as last year with a few families moving around to either Tobey or Indian Lake elementary buildings,” he said.

New Trustee Dan Grabowski attended for the first time. He was appointed to fill the unexpired term of Deborah Harsha, who resigned earlier. He listened intently to an opening year report from Curriculum Director Gail VanDaff on the school district’s Improvement Plan for 2019-2020.

Afterwards, he mused that the first thing he will need to ask for is a list of acronyms as he studies reports for future meetings. Grabowski retired from Pfizer May 1 after 32 years as a chemical engineer. He was a senior manager over five production plants. In Vicksburg, he has been involved with the Athletic Boosters, as has his wife Cheryl. She was active in the PTO at Indian Lake when their son Adam attended. A 2017 VHS grad, he is now a junior at Michigan State University.

“I’ve always wanted to participate in my community and now I have time to devote to being on the school board,” Grabowski said. “I will be playing some catch up while discussing operations and issues with Superintendent O’Neill. I like to be known as a team builder and good collaborator. It will be important to first understand the inner workings of the board and its strategy and priorities. This is a well-functioning board so my focus will be to integrate into an already strong team.” Grabowski said he would expect to place his name on the ballot in 2021 for a full six-year term.

The District Improvement Plan that VanDaff has presented the last four years is the GPS for the school district, she told the board. “We measure students’ progress through the stated goals of the plan,” she said. They include goals for academic learning, strategies to accomplish the goals, then evaluation of the plan, development of alternative measures of assessment and finally methods for effective use of technology.

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