Archived Story

MiCase recognizes Copley

Published 8:56pm Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Don Dailey of the Kalamazoo Regional Education Service Agency (KRESA) dropped by Dowagiac Board of Education Monday night bearing an award for Finance Director Dawn Copley on behalf of MiCase.
MiCase (Michigan Collaborative Administrative Solutions for Education) is a consortium of intermediate school districts established in spring 2007 with Allegan, Van Buren and Kalamazoo.
Cass County’s Lewis Cass ISD joined in December 2007. Berrien County added in fall 2009.
“We’re built around providing information systems and other services to school districts,” Dailey said at City Hall.
“Collaboration is the important thing. Dawn has helped us out so much. We have a vision committee which helps us develop all the features and functions of the financial systems used by 60 Michigan school districts. That group was struggling for a person to lead it. Dawn stepped up two years ago and agreed to be our secretary, then the next year she stepped up again as chairperson. Dawn was absolutely excellent. Prior to that, they were focused on narrow details. As a vision committee, we needed them to look at the big picture of what schools needed for finance and payroll.”
Part of her award was a paperweight made by special education students at Van Buren ISD.
Reporting to the school board on the 2012-2013 budget, Copley said, “Our biggest issue is the fact retirement is going up 2.9 percent and another 3.8 percent on top of that the second year, so that’s hitting us, as well as every other school district in Michigan, hard. Based on our current payroll, it’s an additional $356,000.
“The following year, an additional $414,000. That’s $770,000 over a two-year period for one item.”
That will be mitigated somewhat by best practices incentive funds, she said.
In other March 19 business, the board hired three coaches, 2007 co-valedictorian Mike Kasper for junior varsity baseball, Craig Black for girls JV soccer and Susan Robinson for girls JV tennis.
The board granted family medical leaves to Justus Gage Principal Marcy Hendress and Patrick Hamilton teacher Kelly Treat.
In the student report, senior Craig Zebell said “The Sound of Music” will be presented at 7 p.m. Saturday and 2 p.m. Sunday in the middle school Performing Arts Center.
Juniors just finished taking MME and ACT tests.
March 30, is a half day leading into spring break. Classes continue April 9.
Zebell said of the new DUHS learning lab, or smart classroom, “I haven’t actually had a class myself there, but I’ve heard great things from students.”
National Honor Society’s blood drive Friday collected 60 pints.

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