Archived Story

Law, Miller say goodbye to Niles Schools

Published 10:56pm Monday, June 21, 2010

By JESSICA SIEFF
Niles Daily Star

At Monday night’s Niles Community Schools Board of Education meeting there was the getting down to business — and there was the unscheduled business.

And some sentimental business in between.

Following the board’s vote to adopt a budget for the 2010-2011 school year, numerous motions and even a mention of congratulations by board president Dana Daniels to Lakeshore High School for its recent athletic achievements, the board announced it had received a need to make a motion to accept the retirement of director of curriculum Jim Craig.

Craig “is taking advantage of the state retirement incentive,” Daniels said, and will return to the district part-time to help in applying for state and federal grants.

Incoming superintendent Richard Weigel acknowledged Craig as a “very talented, dedicated individual to this district.”

The board approved Craig’s retirement and exiting superintendent Doug Law then turned the spotlight on retiring trustee Elaine Miller, who has served in every office of the board since joining in 1994.

Miller reflected on time spent on the school board when financial times were easier.

“We were actually adding programs,” she said, adding, “times have changed.”

Law presented Miller with a special retirement gift, giving in to a bit of surprise when Daniels announced a piece of unscheduled business.

Monday night’s board meeting was Law’s last as superintendent and Tuesday is considered his last official day on the job.

He’ll head up to Traverse City for a meeting with Weigel.

“He’s coming back,” Law said. “And I’m not.”

Though it would go to say that his last year could be seen as quite a tough one, the board was not short on praise for Law, who began his career with the district in 1971.

“It has been an honor and a privilege and I’ll thank you for correcting my mistakes,” Daniels said. “You’ve been a great mentor… You’ve counseled many of us in difficult situations. That’s what a friend is and that is what you are to us.”

“You’ve done it with grace and with a great deal of skill,” treasurer Michael Waldron said.

Noting work done in a previous career, meeting with superintendents from four area counties, Curry said, “Doug Law stood heads and tails above all of them,” and has never forgotten the students.

Resting a hand on his predecessor’s shoulder, Weigel told Law, “it has been one of the greatest privileges of my life to have this time with Doug. There isn’t a finer superintendent in the state. He deeply, deeply cares about children … I couldn’t ask for a greater colleague in Doug Law.”

Law responded by telling the board he was “humbled and honored and have been privileged that I’ve had the opportunity to serve this district all these years.”

He credited the board with the fact that the district has seen only four superintendents in the last 40 years and welcomed Weigel warmly, telling board members, “you have a really good man.”

At request, Miller adjourned the meeting.

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