Hillman approves three-year contract for new superintendent

HILLMAN – Hillman Community Schools Board of Education approved a three-year contract with new Superintendent Jason McElrath at its meeting on Monday. McElrath had a meet-and-greet with staff and community members before the regular board meeting and said he is excited about the position.

“I’m excited. I like northern Michigan,” he said. “I don’t think I could ask for a better transition team between (Katie Lee) and (Tom Harmon). Both of them and all the people I’ve talked to have done everything they can to help make the transition as easy as possible.”

McElrath starts on Monday and will have around a week of being introduced to the school, staff and students along with transitioning into the position with the help of Lee and Harmon.

“Tom will be here his two days a week this next week to go through some things, and Katie will still be the principal for the five days, so I’ll be following her around and learning from her, and the following week is when I take over,” he said.

McElrath’s contract includes a proration salary of $59,986.56 as negotiated, and after the proration period, an annual salary of $86,500.

“I think (McElrath) had acclimated well,” board chair Brad McLaren said. “He’s in good hands with our staff and we’re excited to have him. We want to keep the ball rolling.”

The board thanked Lee and Harmon for their hard work and stepping in when the school needed them.

“They are both very professional and have done a wonderful job,” McLaren said.

In other business:

* the board heard its annual audit report from Mark Janke of Quast, Janke & Company and approved the report with an ending fund balance of $887,198.

* Scott Cordes has been approved as the class of 2014 adviser.

* a resolution was passed to support meeting seven of eight Best Practices criteria.

* a motion passed to approve an amendment to the technology services agreement regarding Synergy student information system based on the decline in enrollment.

* bids will be collected for a three-year lawn mowing contract for the school.

* the board approved general fund expenditures of $294,565.94 including $134,354.84 of accounts payable and $160,211.10 of prepaid.

* the board approved an ’05 debt payment of $100,376.97.

* the next regular board meeting will be Nov. 11, at 7 p.m. in the high school library.

Nicole Grulke can be reached via email at ngrulke@thealpenanews.com or by phone at 358-5687. Follow Nicole on Twitter @ng_alpenanews.