By Travis Smola
Superintendent Rusty Stitt and the Schoolcraft school board recognized the district’s principals and supervisors for Principals’ Month in October, surprising them with new jackets emblazoned with the Eagles logo.
“Principals and supervisors are among the hardest working, yet often least-recognized individuals in education,” Stitt said. “Principals and supervisors set the tone for the school and their departments. It’s their vision, dedication and determination that provide the mobilizing force for achieving success.”
Board President Jennifer Gottschalk took advantage of the moment to thank the superintendent for the job he has done, and they presented him with a small gift. “On behalf of the board, this is a token of our appreciation,” Gottschalk said.
The trustees approved the hiring of Amy Lawrence as an Innovation in Teaching and Learning instructional coach. This is Lawrence’s return to the district after a previous stint as a middle school teacher. Stitt said it was easy to recommend her based on her past performance in that job. “If you look back at her data, she was getting the job done,” Stitt said.
The board also saw a presentation from a representative from Yeo & Yeo on the results of a recent financial audit. The audit found no weaknesses or deficiencies at Schoolcraft schools. The audit did note a continuing downwards trend in enrollment from 1,155 students in 2010 to 1,059 in 2019. However, the district has also increased its general fund balance significantly. The balance was around $1.4 million during the 2011-12 school year and is at $1.9 million today.
The principals from all three schools also shared information from the student achievement data report at the meeting. The report goes into depth on scores in subjects such as reading and math. Elementary Principal Matt Webster noted that the data is available on the school’s website for the public to look at in depth. Overall, the data shows a trend upwards for all three schools.
“When I first came, we were the 16th ranked elementary school in the county,” Webster told the board. That has changed significantly, and it is now the sixth-ranked elementary school.
Overall, Schoolcraft, according to on-line ranking sites, now ranks number 40 in the state out of approximately 800 districts, which compares well to nearby Portage, Vicksburg and Three Rivers which rank 74, 147 and 292.