Dowagiac Board of Education wraps up 2022-2023 school year

Published 11:42 am Friday, June 23, 2023

DOWAGIAC — Dowagiac’s Board of Education wrapped up the 2022-2023 school year during a brief meeting at City Hall on Monday Night.

The meeting started with a public hearing regarding the district budget. During the public comment portion of the board meeting, Christina Rapp, a parent to Dowagiac students, called for the board to consider changing the school’s mascot. Currently, Dowagiac schools are represented as the Chieftains.

Rapp, a member of the Pokagon Band of Potawatomi Indians, said that an effort to change Dowagiac’s mascot should be made to honor local traditions and people. Rapp also said that neighboring communities do not view the mascot with the same pride Dowagiac residents do, which can lead to bullying and targeting of native children. 

“This is going to go to the state soon,” Rapp said. “I do think this is at the point where we should just get ahead of it.”

After the public hearing was held, with all board members present, the board approved the hiring of four new district staff members pending verification of background checks, and approved the resignation of four district staff members. 

The board approved the preliminary budget for the upcoming school year, and approved the food service contract with Sodexo. 

Athletic Director Brent Nate presented the athletic accomplishments of the spring semester to the board. 

Dowagiac produced  four conference champions in wrestling, two conference champions in track, won a conference championship in boys soccer, and won a regional championship in golf

Nate said the recent Chieftain Golf Outing was a local success, with neighboring school districts asking for Dowagiac Union Schools aid in planning their golf events. 

The meeting concluded after thirty minutes, with the board meeting again in July to further plan for the upcoming school year.