To paraphrase Hamlet, the play’s the thing for three PHS students

by Dave Cary Review Correspondent

PLYMOUTH - Three students - who jointly authored a drama that has been presented before students quite successfully - were recognized by the Plymouth School Board at its meeting Tuesday.

High School Principal Jennifer Rauscher introduced the three saying that “Sometimes the best educational approach is for adults to step back and just let the students simply do it,” evidently a reference to their creative process.

English teacher Brad Feick said the threesome would meet early every Wednesday and sort of hash things over, sharing their work, bouncing ideas and feeding off each other.

Co-author Maggie Chandler said the girls would ask a lot of “what-ifs,” speculating on what the effect might be if the plot went in one direction or another; at one point they considered giving all characters unisex names, and at another total gender reversal, the example cited being having female jocks and male cheerleaders.

Co-authors Kate Harms and Mary Reilly, in answer to a query from Feick, they said they very much liked this collaborative approach to learning.

The name of the play? “Just your average Joes.”

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Business Manager Jon Miller said early work had begun on the upcoming budget and that it appeared the district was in a better position at this time than last year. He added that he expected that next month there will be some “reasonable kind of numbers” to work with and that he estimated that they would be using a $100,000 deficit figure as a starting point.

Superintendent Carrie Dassow told the board construction of the new Food Science and Agriculture building is proceeding smoothly, with exterior walls complete and some plumbing and wiring already in.

The board accepted the following gifts:

• $578.95 from Horizon PATH for student transportation. (Bullet) $49.50 from Fairview PTO for student transportation. (Bullet) $303.85 from Parkview PTK for student transportation.

In response to a suggestion from board member Richard York, the board agreed to have its officers continue in their existing roles, including liaisons to outside committees. York said he made the suggestion because the board seemed to be working very well.

• • •

In personnel matters, the board:

• Accepted the retirement request of Ruth Lilly, Kindergarten teacher at Parkview Elementary School effective at the end of the school year. Lilly has been with the district for 40 years.

• Accepted the resignation request of Kelly Blanchard, crosscategorical teacher at Plymouth High School effective at the end of the school year. She has been with the district three years.

• Accepted the resignation of Chelsea Cerwin, second grade teacher at Horizon Elementary School an the end of the school year. Cerwin has taught in the district for three years.

Upcoming support staff retirements include:

• Ellen Guenther, special education aide at Riverview Middle School, at the end of the school year. She has been with the district nine years.

• Joan Vorpagel, secretary at Parkview Elementary School, at the end of the school year. She has been with the district 25 years.

• Karen Hansen, special education aide at Parkview Elementary School. She has been with the district 11 years.

The board also learned that Nicole Skelton, food server at Riverview Middle School for 11 years, has resigned.

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