Matt Olson, the new Superintendent of the Benzie Central School District (and prospective Sunrise member) filled us in on the state of the Benzie Central Schools.
Matt explained that the goals of the District are several:
  • Increase student enrollment
  • Develop long-term infrastructure
  • Be a high-performance District at all levels
Increasing enrollment is a priority, as the District receives $7,511 per student.  While the District is a large one (covering 350 square miles), only 1,500 of the 2,000 eligible students within the District attend the Benzie Central Schools. The reasons are several, but educating the community on the quality of the Benzie Central schools is an obvious place to start.  The District wants to partner with an architectural firm to establish priorities as to its buildings, and it plans to initiate strategic planning.  One of Matt's goals in speaking to groups such as Sunrise Rotary is to find community leadership to tackle such issues as which buildings should be closed and whether there should be a new capital campaign for the District.
Club members demonstrated their interest in Matt's presentation through a number of questions ranging from school funding to the possible consolidation of school districts.  (The question of increasing family sizes was referred to our President for consideration.)