Area superintendents meet with Allor, Stamas

News Photo by Julie Goldberg Superintendents from Iosco, Alcona, and Alpena counties meet with State Sen. Jim Stamas and Rep. Sue Allor on Monday to discuss issues involving the schools.

LINCOLN — Superintendents from Iosco, Alcona, and Alpena counties met with State Sen. Jim Stamas and Rep. Sue Allor on Monday at Alcona High School to discuss the schools.

Alpena-Montmorency-Alcona Educational Service District Superintendent Scott Reynolds said Stamas and Allor met with superintendents from the AMA ESD and the Iosco Regional Educational Service Agency to hear concerns and to engage in productive dialogue on issues such as school funding, accountability, the career and technical education program, safety in schools, and other items.

“Through the meeting positive relationships develop and everyone shared a common interest in advancing the education of children within our region and state,” Reynolds said. “Superintendents look forward to scheduling more meetings like these in the future.”

Stamas said the meeting was a positive discussion for everyone.

“We talked about a wide range of topics and one of the topics was how can we continue to have money to educate the students,” he said.

Stamas said programs in the schools were discussed as well as the priorities the school districts are focusing on.

“There was a lot of diversity in the dialogue between everyone,” he said. “We covered a lot of different aspects. I would like to personally thank them for the opportunity to come on a Monday afternoon. The meetings are usually scheduled during the week when Sue and I are in Lansing so we appreciate them for inviting us to come on a Monday.”

The budget for the school year was a topic of discussion. Stamas said legislation about guns in school also was discussed.

“Input was shared from the superintendents about the concerns of how can we keep students safe and that involves mental health and gun safety,” Stamas said.

Reynolds said as leaders, they have a responsibility to advocate for children on the legislative platform.

“Superintendents and legislators are all very busy in our work, but never too busy to discuss these issues,” Reynolds said. “Legislators cannot be left to assume what our position is on educational matters and I believe they don’t want to assume.”

Alpena Public Schools Superintendent Dr. John VanWagoner said it was great to have an opportunity to meet with Stamas and Allor.

“It really is great to have some dialogue and feedback to give them ideas of concerns, issues that we have and be able to hear from them as well,” VanWagoner said. “We just really appreciate the opportunity for them to come and talk to us.”

VanWagoner said the meeting was positive and that Stamas and Allor are looking out for the best interest of northern Michigan and the school districts.

“To have the opportunity to have dialogue with them and have them understand some issues and be an advocate for the things that we need for our children and our staff and community,” he said. ‘I think that they’re very helpful in helping move those things forward.”

Alcona Community Schools Superintendent Dan O’Connor said the open dialogue and discussion served as a solid forum for everyone to have a conversation about key education issues and for everyone to have background information on the various sides of issues.

“I would also like to thank Rep. Allor and Sen. Stamas for making time to discuss issues that impact students across northern Michigan,” O’Connor said.

Reynolds said earlier on Monday, he attended a similar meeting with Rep. Triston Cole and Atlanta and Hillman Superintendent Carl Seiter.

“That was also a productive meeting in support of our work with students,” Reynolds said. “Our legislators are clearly open to dialogue that provides them deeper understanding of the local impact of decisions made in Lansing.”

Julie Goldberg can be reached via email at jgoldberg@thealpenanews.com or by phone at 358-5688.