MAS to finalize principal contracts
MANISTIQUE – Two candidates have officially been offered the open principal positions at Manistique Area Schools. The announcement comes after last week’s public interview sessions for both the Emerald Elementary and Manistique Middle/ High School positions.
According to Superintendent Kathy Mc- Donough, while neither party has signed a contract, they will be in the district Thursday to meet with the MAS Board of Education’s Michigan Association of School Boards Labor Relations Representative Dr. Tom Smith. The candidates are: Erik Mason, formerly of Manistique, and John Shiner, of Ontonagon.
Prior to the interview process, two Ad Hoc committees were formed for each open position, explained McDonough. The Emerald Elementary committee reviewed
23 applications, eventually referring four for interviews, she added. In the middle/high school committee, four referrals for interviews were selected from 19 applications.
The decision to hire two separate principals for the elementary and middle/high school follows a yearlong pilot program in which one principal was used for the entire district. According to McDonough, this pilot was tested after staff and community requests to reduce administrative costs. The decision was made as then-Emerald Elementary Principal Jason Lockwood accepted the superintendent position in the Bark River-Harris school system. The MAS board selected now retired middle/high school Principal Butch Yurk as the pilot’s district principal.
“After the second update to the board, it was clear that the district is still too large to be served with one administrator covering two separate buildings,” she said. “The board voted to return to a principal within each building starting with the 2012-13 school year.”
Elementary candidate Mason graduated from Manistique Area Schools in May 1993. He has been with the Imlay Community School District in Imlay City for his entire career. He taught for four years, and then served as Imlay City Middle School Assistant Principal for three years. He has been on his current assignment, as middle school principal, since 2006.
“This is a once in a lifetime opportunity for my wife (Alyssa) and three children (Grant, 7; Blake, 5; and Trent, 1) to return to my hometown and give back to the community which served me well throughout my education and upbringing,” Mason said. “I am passionate about being involved within the community where I work. I enjoy camping with my family, fishing, kayaking and biking.”
Mason received his bachelor of science in education from Central Michigan University, a master’s degree in the art of teaching from Marygrove College, and an educational specialist degree in educational administration from Oakland University. He is the son of Manistique residents Richard and Linda Mason.
Manistique Middle/High School candidate Shiner has been an employee of the Ontonagon Area School District for a number of years. He has been the Ontonagon Junior/Senior High School principal since 2005. Prior to this, he was a science teacher in the district for five years. Shiner also taught science for seven years at Kettering High School in Detroit and also served in the United States Peace Corps for two years in Western Samoa.
“I am a hardworking, honest, energetic individual,” said Shiner. “I am confident in my abilities, and I believe that it shows in my positive interactions in my school community. I am a family man, am civic minded and truly enjoy working with the kids.”
Shiner received his bachelor of science in health studies/biology from Central Michigan University, and a master’s in education and secondary certification in biology/ sociology from the University of Michigan. He plans to complete his Educational Leadership program through Grand Valley State University in fall. Shiner is married and has two children: a daughter at CMU, and a son who will enroll at Manistique High School.
According to McDonough, both candidates bring with them a history of coaching experience and/ or volunteer work with school and community through charitable organizations.