Radka steps down; superintendent to lead negotiations

ROGERS CITY – After 28 years with Rogers City Area Schools, Administrative Assistant Carol Radka is set to retire in August.

Board of education members approved Radka’s retirement at their meeting Monday. Superintendent Katy Xenakis-Makowski said the district will miss her, and after the meeting Radka said she felt welcomed her entire time working there.

“I really enjoyed my time here, and I felt like family,” she said. “For all the years I worked here, it definitely felt like family.”

Radka started off as a teacher’s aide, and worked in special education for three years, she said. She then took the position as bookkeeper for student activities accounts and as part-time library help. She’s served as administrative assistant for the last three years.

Aside from continuing to serve as Rogers Township Treasurer, Radka has a grandchild and another on the way, she said. She expects to be busy babysitting, and hopes to travel.

“My daughter lives in Virginia, so I’d like to go and see her,” she said.

Xenakis-Makowski said the district will post for the job, and hopes to hire someone in time for Radka to help train them.

In other business:

* Xenakis-Makowski will serve as Rogers City Area Schools’ chief negotiator as the district works on new contracts with its teachers and educational services professionals. Both contracts will need to be renewed before the start of the 2014-15 school year. Board President Michael Marx reminded the board Monday of a discussion to hire a third-party negotiator.

However, the cost to do so would be at least $10,000, Xenakis-Makowski said. Instead, board members voted unanimously to appoint her the chief negotiator for the district. She is both the superintendent and the elementary school principal, which makes being the negotiator difficult. However, she’s done it before and will tackle the task again.

“I’ve talked with both (unions), and hopefully we can get that done ourselves,” she said.

* board members approved hiring Matt Bredow as junior varsity baseball coach, Megan Przybyla as middle school volleyball coach, Austin Brege as baseball volunteer, and Lauren Hanson and Kaitlin Klingshirn as middle school volleyball volunteer assistants. They also approved a request for leave of absence for Sarah Simmons, junior varsity softball assistant coach, effective Aug. 1. Xenakis-Makowski said Simmons is beginning her thesis and won’t be able to devote the time she needs to the job. She will, however, volunteer whenever available.

* Ed Wilbert’s jazz band class will visit Northern Michigan University’s Jazz Festival in Marquette on April 10-12, after board members approved the request.

* board members heard a first reading of two district policies, one new and one revised, from policy committee Chairman John Krajenta. They involve criminal history record checks and criminal justice information security.

* board members thanked Mr. and Mrs. Harvey Wilson for their $50 donation to the school bowling team, Tots Abroad Preschool Co-op for its $452.12 donation to the Elementary School PTO, Nancy Tulgetske for donating North Star League banners and Cadillac Products Automotive for donating two industrial robots for the industrial tech classroom.

Jordan Travis can be reached via email at jtravis@thealpenanews.com or by phone at 358-5688. Follow Jordan on Twitter @jt_alpenanews. Read his blog, A Snowball’s Chance, at www.thealpenanews.com.