Cassopolis Public Schools celebrates student teams’ success

Published 12:34 pm Tuesday, March 19, 2024

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CASSOPOLIS — The Cassopolis Public School Board met for their regular monthly meeting Monday, March 18.

Superintendent Dr. John Ritzler used his report to recognize multiple student teams and organizations to highlight their recent accomplishments. Teacher Allison Hill and students from the Science Olympiad team presented results and reflections from the recent event that took place at Southwestern Michigan College.

Teacher Jennifer Torbet recapped the Cass County Spelling Bee, along with student competitors from the 4th and 5th grade teams. After sharing, students were applauded by parents and audience members and shook hands with each school board member. Members of Future Farmers of America were also recognized, including Emily Carlisle for earning a state championship in Prepared Public Speaking.

Members of the Cassopolis RoboRangers robotics team appeared later in the meeting, along with some of their team mentors in the audience. They provided a demonstration of their robot, “Slurp”, which has the ability to pick up foam rings and launch them into a tall structure. The team won a “Gracious Professionalism Award” at an event in Saint Joseph, Michigan. The team also raised $35,000 in funds, paying for their expenses this school year and saving $11,000 for next.

A potential trip to state robotic championship competitions was on the agenda for approval, which was unanimously approved.

Business Manager James English reported a successful first meeting of the community long-term planning committee. The first meeting, which took place last week, brought in more people than English had anticipated. He expressed appreciation for the number of participants, as well as the engagement and discussion they brought to the meeting.

“It’s a great start to the process,” said English.

The same group of people are scheduled for additional meetings in April, where they will eventually create a scientific community survey to be implemented over the summer. The group will meet after that to review results and deliver recommendations to the school board.

The board elected to send only three board members to future meetings of the group in order to maintain compliance with the Open Meetings Act. Though four members attended the initial meeting, they did so in a listening capacity, separated at different tables and having no deliberation.

“We believe we absolutely were legal,” Ritzler said.

Going forward, the meetings will likely be held as a large group, which could give the perception of deliberation if a quorum of the board were present. Keeping the number at three or less will avoid the problem.

The board approved the purchase of a new Ford pick-up truck for the general uses, including snow plowing. This purchase, which is included in the budget, would be to replace the existing fifteen year old truck currently owned by the district.

The date of graduation was announced as Thursday, May 30.