Braham hires secondary principal

By Elizabeth Sias

Justin C. Sawyer will be the new secondary principal for Braham Area Schools starting July 1.

Justin Sawyer is the new Secondary Principal for Braham Area Schools. Photo by Elizabeth Sias

The school board approved the recommendation of the principal search committee at their meeting June 20 that Sawyer be hired to fill the position of Secondary Principal for the 2011-12 school year.

Sawyer lives in North Branch, where he taught for six years. He resigned from his position as math teacher, head football coach and assistant track and field coach to take over as secondary principal for Braham. Sawyer taught at the middle school for six years and took over the head football coach position two seasons ago.

Before North Branch, he taught for two years in Ortonville and one year in Hinckley.

He’s excited to work as principal for 7th through 12th graders in Braham and looks forward to helping the schools be the best they can be.

“It’s an opportunity to help the Braham schools get even better and to be able to work with teachers to help them improve their practices and make it as effective as they can,” Sawyer said.

This will be his first principal position, but along with his teaching experience, he spent time as dean of students for summer school in North Branch and he filled in for principals in their absence.

In other action, the board:

• Approved new gate/fees policy. Fall sport athletes will receive a “Fall Sports Pass,” allowing free admission to regular season athletic events during the season in which the student-athlete participates. The pass will be signed and color coded for fall and again for winter. This will be at the “C” team level, JV and Varsity participants only. Senior citizens age 62 and older will be offered two choices; admission at the gate per event at the “Student Rate” or an Athletic Pass for $25. This pass must be purchased at the school during normal office hours, would be non-transferable and for all home regular season athletic events.

• Approved bids for summer 2011 high school projects. For $187,883, the carpet and flooring in the main corridor inside the front entrance will be replaced, the kitchen ceiling will be replaced, the activities door entrance will be replaced and a door on the east side will be replaced.

• Approved a resolution establishing dates for filing affidavits of candidacy for the office of school board member. The period will begin Aug. 2 and close on Aug. 16. An affidavit of candidacy must be filed in the office of the school district clerk and the $2 filing fee paid prior to 5 p.m. on Aug. 16. The four-year terms of four school board members — Lowell Luebeck, Daniel Klemz, Craig Hammond and Anthony Cuda — will expire in January. The general election will be held Nov. 8.

• Approved changes to the 2011-12 Student Handbook. Sunglasses were added to the list of clothing items not allowed in school, purses will no longer be allowed in hallways or through the lunch line, and iPods can be used in classrooms at teacher discretion. Principal assigned detention will be held on Tuesdays and Thursdays after school in the ISS room. The fighting policy was also updated to include disciplinary action for two offenses rather than three.

• Superintendent Greg Winter noted that if the state government shuts down, the school district will not receive state funding for the duration of the shutdown. The district has sufficient funds to get through the end of August, but would not have enough to open school in the fall if the government is still shut down.