TAWAS CITY – In an unusually brief meeting lasting only 18 minutes on July 8, the Tawas Area Schools (TAS) Board of Education hired a teacher and a bus driver, bought a new school bus, and continued two working relationships with Oscoda Area Schools.

At the recommendation of Principal John Klinger, the board voted 7-0 to hire Jordan Lahr as a middle school special education math teacher. Lahr is certified to teach general education math in grades 6-12, and will be working toward special education certification which, according to TAS Superintendent Jeff Hutchison, allows her to teach special education classes under a temporary certification. Lahr is a graduate of Hope College with a Bachelor of Arts degree in mathematics and education.

Tanya Bacheldor, who has served as a substitute driver since last November, was hired to fill the bus driver vacancy created by the resignation of Doug Gregory at the last board meeting. Transportation Supervisor Michelle Conklin introduced Bacheldor to the board at the meeting and recommended her to be hired.

Two shared contracts with Oscoda Area Schools were renewed for an additional two years at Hutchison’s recommendation. The two districts share Food Service Director Jan Sancrant’s time and compensation package, an arrangement that Hutchison said has worked well for both parties. Routine maintenance of the school bus fleet has been performed by Oscoda for the past several years under a shared agreement, which was also renewed for an additional two years.

The board, by a 7-0 vote, approved the purchase of a 2020 Blue Bird 84-passenger school bus. Competitive bids were received for the vehicle from two dealers, and the Board accepted the recommendation from Hutchison and Conklin to purchase the vehicle from the Holland Bus Company at a cost of $102,966.

Hutchison provided the board with updated information about various maintenance and improvement projects for the district. Cabinets were installed in the band room, and await a finished panel and latches. He added that the lighting project was “probably about three weeks out,” bids will be due on the playground project in two weeks, and asbestos removal will start in one week. The window film has been installed, and the plans for the parking lot are still in progress, Hutchison said. No starting date has been set for work on the circulating pumps, and Seymour Carpet will be coming in after the asbestos removal has been completed.

Hutchison also announced that a letter of resignation was received from cook’s helper Deborah Morefield, who has been with the district for less than one year.