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Forest Park ends teacher search

CRYSTAL FALLS—The Forest Park school district has added a middle school language arts teacher for the second semester of the school year.
    School board members were told during their Dec. 15 regular meeting at the Mansfield Township Hall, the last of three meetings the school board annually holds at township halls in the Forest Park District.
    District officials had been disappointed before in their search for someone to fill the language arts position. This fall, candidates were interviewed, and the position was offered to one of them—but was rejected because of the distance the teacher would have to travel daily.
    This time, though, the job has been accepted, and Samantha DeNeef has accepted the job. She won’t start teaching until Jan. 12, due to a trip she had planned earlier, but DeNeef visited Forest Park just before the holiday break, working with the long-term substitute teacher who had been teaching sixth, seventh and eighth grade language arts classes.
    Superintendent Becky Waters said DeNeef will also work as an interventionist with small groups of elementary school students who have high risk needs for reading, math and writing. That work is funding with Title II funds that Forest Park received in a grant after the year started.
    • Board members approved the annual college trip for Forest Park juniors. This is done annually by the Forest Park Academic Boosters.
    The biggest change this year is that the trip will take place March 23 to 25 instead of April. The trip will be in March due to the Michigan Merit Exam, and it will take place Monday to Wednesday—the boosters have had difficulty setting up for Friday visits.
    All juniors who have a 2.0 grade point average and who are in good standing are invited to make the trip—currently, 31 students are eligible. Those who don’t meet the criteria may apply for consideration.
    The trip will visit five schools in three days—the schools have not been chosen yet. Each college will give an admissions presentation and campus tour plus information on financial aid and scholarships. The tour will visit both public and private schools, both large and small campuses. An emphasis is on students getting a feel for each college’s campus.
    The boosters will pay the cost of the bus, about $3,000. Each student will pay about $100 to cover the cost of hotels. There will be three or four chaperones—two will be staff members.
    A parents meeting will be held Sunday evening, with students bringing their luggage along. The bus leaves at 6 a.m. Monday and returns between 10 and 11 p.m. Wednesday. Students are expected to be in class Thursday morning.
    • FP’s custodial staff had to scramble in early December. Scott McGregor, in his report to the board, said that on Dec. 5 they found that the high school heating system was losing water “at an alarming rate, as in 30 gallons per hour.”
    A frenzied search for the cause ended when

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