Many exciting things are unfolding this summer! A group of business leaders in our community have stepped up to make a big difference in the lives of our tiniest learners. The work to change the culture in Muskegon County to one that reads early and often is being bolstered by $16,000 in private investments led by a local business owner.
We are in the process of purchasing over 6,000 books to be given to infants and toddlers through local health clinics and maternal and infant support programs. The Muskegon County Prosecutor's Office, Victim Services, Family and Circuit Courts will also give books to infants and toddlers. In addition, we are in the process of hiring a part-time Read early. Read often. coordinator funded through a grant from the Community Foundation for Muskegon County and the MAISD.
Also new this summer is Kathleen (Katie) Flynn, our Associate Superintendent for Special Education and Early Childhood Services. She replaces Kathy Fortino who recently retired. Mrs. Flynn comes to us from Montcalm Area ISD where she fulfilled the roles of special education supervisor and special education director. With 22 years of experience, Mrs. Flynn has also worked for Ionia ISD and Belding Area Schools. She has hit the ground running and we are very fortunate to have her on staff!
Just this month our board also approved the employment of Lane White to replace our former Director of Technology Services, Kathleen Hamilton. Mr. White, current Director of Technology for Mona Shores School District, has worked closely with our Associate Superintendent of Academic Services Randy Lindquist to forge a visionary plan that will support our districts as they integrate and advance new technology programs and processes in our local school districts. Our goal is to establish the very best programs (with the greatest quality and efficiencies) for our students and the taxpayers who fund our countywide technology and security millage.
To further support the integrated use of technology in our classrooms, we are preparing to welcome over 400 eduators to Muskegon Community College on August 18 for the second annual Learning on the Lakeshore conference. In addition to learning about engaging students and personalized learning from keynote speaker Jay Gross, educators from all twelve of our school districts will choose from over 90 breakout sessions taught by both local and statewide experts from as far away as Grayling, Boyne City, Port Huron, and Detroit. As of today, some seats are still available for this outstanding conference! See Video
While many of our educators have been participating in top-notch professional development offerings this summer, our faith communities have been working hard to gather the resources to equip our kids with thousands of backpacks and school supplies. Please take the time to promote their efforts and the FREE resources available by sharing this link: http://maisd.co/2015BackpackPoster.
In closing, I want to leave you with a 28-second video highlighting the WINGS summer enrichment program running this week and next at Muskegon Community College. During these two weeks, 469 children will enjoy fun, hands-on classes with 116 of them (eligible for free and reduced lunch) receiving scholarships to cover half the cost.
Be sure to enjoy our beautiful summer!
Dr. John Severson
Muskegon Area ISD Superintendent