2017-09-14 / Front Page

LOGGING THE(O) TIME

Board hears update on new timber program, MSHAA recognition

MANISTIQUE – Two programs received special attention during the most recent meeting of the Manistique Area Schools Board of Education. Updates on both the newly instituted Timber Harvesting Equipment Operator course and the long-standing MHSAA sports program were given.

According to MAS Superintendent Maryann Boddy, the district first applied in February to establish the THEO program inside the building housing the Jack Reque Alternative High School and Z-Tec. By March, the program had been approved by the Michigan Department of Education.

Boddy noted that THEO – a collaboration between MAS and the Zellar family, which owns the building and surrounding property – is the first of its kind in the state. It is part of the district’s increased focus on career and technical education programs.

According to Boddy, an Roland Machinery’s Forestry Division Manager Perry Hughes recently offered to lend the program a piece of harvesting equipment – worth approximately $300,000 – on which to train. The company has a location in Escanaba.

“(They’ll) bring that in and their on-staff trainer to our site at Z-Tec for a week,” she explained. “So the kids can actually get up into the cab of a piece of machinery.

We have other equipment that’s being donated, but this is quite a gesture,” she added. “We’re really excited about that.”

The instructor for the THEO program, Joe Bugay, recently joined the Delta-Schoolcraft Intermediate School District teaching staff in the Career and Technical Education department. Prior to signing on to teach the course, Bugay had taught similar curriculum at Bay College and owns a logging business.

Boddy said Wednesday that the students have had a busy first week of school – attending the Great Lakes Logging and Heavy Equipment Expo in Escanaba last Friday, learning nomenclature and the language of the industry, and exploring outside to identify trees.

“They will be visiting the Environmental Lab on Friday to see the work that is taking place there,” she said.

The school’s participation in the Michigan High School Athletic Association was also highlighted during the MAS meeting.

Board members heard a letter from the private, not-for-profit corporation which includes more than 1,500 public and private senior high schools and junior high/middle schools throughout the state of Michigan.

“The MHSAA would like to congratulate Manistique High School for receiving no negative officials’ reports of concern, ejection, or sportsmanship during the previous (2016-17) school year,” read Stacey Cunningham, the board’s secretary. “It is a credit to your student athletes, coaches, administration, staff, and community for demonstrating such positive sportsmanship throughout the entire school year.”

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