Traverse City Record-Eagle

March 13, 2013

TCAPS to reorganize

BY MICHAEL WALTON mwalton@record-eagle.com
Traverse City Record-Eagle

---- — TRAVERSE CITY — Officials will release details today of a plan to reorganize the administrative structure of Traverse City Area Public Schools.

District leaders would not discuss the reorganization at length on Tuesday, but one aspect of the pending changes surfaced at a TCAPS Board of Education meeting Monday when board members unanimously voted to consider ending the contract of TCAPS administrator Cathy Meyer-Looze.

Meyer-Looze is the district’s director of personnel development. TCAPS wants to eliminate the position as part of the reorganization, said TCAPS Human Resources Executive Director Christine Davis.

”That was one position where responsibilities can be taken over by another employee or employees in the district,” Davis said.

Meyer-Looze did not return calls for this story. Her contract expires at the end of June.

Meyer-Looze moved to her current position in early 2012 while still serving as principal of East Middle School. She came under fire in the summer of that year when police arrested former East Middle School custodian Marc Morris and charged him with sexual assault of a 13-year-old female student.

TCAPS Superintendent Stephen Cousins suspended Meyer-Looze for two weeks without pay in August because she failed to aggressively pursue and document misconduct allegations against Morris when he worked at East Middle School.

Morris, son of longtime school board president Gerald Morris, pleaded guilty to two counts of third-degree criminal sexual conduct with a person 13 to 15 in October.

Cousins said the Marc Morris case had nothing to do with the board’s review of Meyer-Looze’s contract.

The director of professional development is responsible for, among other things, evaluating teachers and continuing the education and training of district staff.

Meyer-Looze’s base salary is about $87,000.

TCAPS lost another $80,000-plus administrator when Alison Arnold, former director of marketing, communications and volunteer services, resigned from her position in December. Arnold cited a desire to complete her doctoral degree and dissertation from Central Michigan University as the impetus for her move.

TCAPS has drawn criticism for public relations missteps. The first was the printing of campaign material promoting TCAPS’ failed $100-million bond proposal, raising concerns about possible violations of state election laws. The district was also criticized for a failure to publicize six district officials’ trip to China for an educational conference in the months leading up to Arnold’s departure.