Mike Cattani
Mike Cattani
MENOMINEE - Two administrators in the Menominee Area Public Schools announced their resignation at the school board meeting Thursday.

With that, Interim Superintendent Mike Cattani announced he would like to return to being a full-time principal.

Cattani's interim superintendent contract expires June 30 and a new contract will be negotiated by March 31.

A provision in his contract states he may return to being a full-time principal.

"I choose to return to a principal position for next year," he said at the board meeting. "The reason for my decision is to be on the front line with the students for the remainder of my career. I miss the day-to-day contact with students; building relationships, sharing the happy and sad, encouraging them and making a difference on a direct level."

Cattani said this is the reason he went into education 31 years ago. Cattani, who was principal for three years at the Marenisco School District, has been in administration at both Menominee junior and senior high schools.

"I have enjoyed my time as the interim superintendent, and I hope that we will all continue to strive to make Menominee Area Public Schools one of the best in the state," he said.

Cattani thanked the board of education for giving him the opportunity to be interim superintendent.

"Your support, friendship and dedication are very much appreciated," he said. "I am not leaving, I am just relocating."

Resigning for the purpose of retiring are Peggy Tafelski, administrator at Blesch, and Julee Nordin, administrator at Central Elementary School. Both resignations will be effective June 30.

"Both will be missed. They are 50 percent of our principals," Cattani said.

William Paris is the junior/senior high school principal and Alison Granquist is the assistant junior/senior high principal.

Nordin spent four years as principal at Lincoln and Central. Tafelski was principal at Blesch for 11 years.

"If we vote no, does that mean they can't resign?," said Ruby Ivens.

That gathered many laughs from the audience and school board.

All board members voted in favor of the retirements.

Board president Ken Pulver said he doesn't want to see people go, but their time is in and they have their lives, too.

The thousands of lives touched by the principals were noted.

Cattani's evaluation was mentioned and accepted by the board.

"At times you can't see him he goes so fast," Pulver said of the disappearing act Cattani can do at times because of his size and how fast he moves.

Ivens and the other board members thanked Cattani for the hard work he does for the district.

Pulver said the need for Cattani to interact with students was discussed at his evaluation.

In his letter of announcing that he would like to go back to being a principal, Cattani said school funding in Michigan is a challenge.

"The largest source of school funding in Michigan is the Foundation Grant. This grant is based on the student enrollment and determines how much money we will have for the day-to-day operations of the district," he said. "We are trying to run a school district with a Foundation Allowance per pupil that is lower than it was in 2007. The total loss of funding from the state since 2010 has been roughly $1,900,000. The state funding has had remarkable consequences for our district. The only way that this will change is with our elected officials at the state level."

Cattani implores each district member to contact the elected officials to let them know that changes must be seen soon.

"One measure that we can take locally is by passing the sinking fund millage. It is very critical for our district," he said. "This millage will provide funds necessary to fix our leaking roofs, add security features that are necessary in this day and age, and replace our classroom window to name a few."
MENOMINEE - Menominee Catholic Central will purchase Lincoln Elementary School for $150,000.

The Menominee Area Public Schools Board of Education approved the purchase agreement Thursday, contingent upon MCC selling its current building.

MCC is located on 10th Avenue (U.S. 41) in Menominee.

Superintendent Mike Cattani said the sale is not final yet.

"The purchase agreement will be signed and we'll wait for MCC to sell their building," he said.

Cattani added if the sale does not happen, there is language in the purchase agreement for it to be void.

MCC's hope is to be in Lincoln Elementary School by fall.

Cattani said Menominee Area Public Schools would use the money from the sale of the school for capital projects at Blesch Intermediate School, including repair to the roof.

Cattani added the district saves money on heating costs, maintenance and repair by selling Lincoln Elementary.