Historical Moment in St. Helen as Charlton Heston Public School Academy Board of Directors Appointed by LSSU

Historical Moment in St. Helen as Charlton Heston Public School Academy Board of Directors Appointed by LSSU


May 1, 2012 was a historical day in St. Helen, MI. Following nearly three years of research, advocating, and devoted pursuit a small group of community members proved that it is possible to meet a challenge and change the destiny of a community.

Rural Education Matters (REM) was formed nearly three years ago following the closing of St. Helen’s elementary school. Community members came together to discuss options when they were introduced to David Patterson, Mark Eitrem, and Ralph Cunningham. These three men introduced the group to the charter school system…another public school option for families.

From that moment REM set out on a mission to meet what they described as a public mandate to re-open a school in the St. Helen Community.

The board members participated in many hours of board training and school development training. Sessions were provided by groups such as the Michigan Charter Association and Michigan Association of Public School Academies (MAPSA). In addition the group toured Chatfield Public School Academy and interviewed the Academies Board of Directors. The group also attended different events such as the Charter School Conference in Lansing and seminars regarding special curriculum pieces including an entrepreneurial piece hosted by the Roscommon County Community Foundation.

During the nearly three year journey REM applied to several major universities, Kirtland Community College, C.O.O.R ISD, and both local public school districts for authorization. On May 1st REM passed the baton as Lake Superior State University representatives traveled to St. Helen to swear in the new Board of Directors for the Charlton Heston Academy (CHA).

The Board of Directors for CHA include Jennifer Jarosz (president), Richard Wood (vice-president and secretary), Dave Fultz (treasurer), Joseph Roush (trustee), Amy Hesse (trustee), and Robert Olschefski (trustee).

During the organizational meeting the newly appointed board approved the adoption of the school’s Articles of Incorporation and By-laws. Additionally the board adopted several annual resolutions. First Bank of St. Helen was designated as the depository for CHA. Check signers for the Board were assigned. Roscommon County Weekly was designated as the principal print media source.Joe Urban of Clark Hill Law Firm of Birmingham, MI was designated as the Academies legal counsel. American Charter Education Services was retained for several services including Recording Secretary and Chief Administrative Officer.

In addition to the resolutions the board noted that every meeting will open with the Pledge of Allegiance and a recital by the board of the mission of CHA.

The meeting dates for the next twelve months were set and fall on the second Tuesday of the month at 7pm.

On May 3rd REM held their regular monthly meeting. At that time Jennifer Jarosz, Richard Wood, and Joseph Roush presented their resignations due to a conflict with serving on the board for CHA. REM Board member Pam Colby was appointed president. Three community members stepped forward to volunteer as new board members. REM voted to appoint Cheryl Lyttle, Tracy Cruz, and Casey Perryman. Veronica Bridson retained her position as secretary and Sheryl Lyttle assumed the position of treasurer. Cruz assumed the position of chairperson for the Fundraising Committee and Casey Perryman was appointed chairperson of the School Relations Committee.

A special meeting is set for May 10 at 7pm at the Richfield Township Hall to discuss recruitment. Parents and volunteers are encouraged to attend. The organizations building committee is still in negotiations over the existing elementary school building.


Reprinted with permission of The Roscommon County Weekly May 9, 2012 issue