To the Journal editor:
The Marquette Area Public Schools would like to thank Rich Rossway for 21 years of public service as a board of education member.
Rossway began serving in January 1999 and this Dec. 14, our last board meeting of the year, will presumably mark the end of what, in today’s age, is an eternity of public service.
Rossway was no ordinary Board member. He took pride in educating himself on the issues and modeling what all educators value, a lifelong commitment to learning and self improvement. For Rossway, he measured his success by being an informed, productive board member.
Rich’s thirst for knowledge led to him obtaining 570 education credits, 72 CBA class credits, and a classification of level 5 Master Diamond Award, one of the highest levels of education a board member can obtain through the Michigan Association of School Boards.
In 1999, Rossway joined the board facing some of the most challenging times for MAPS. Elementary school closures, debates over the school nickname, declining student enrollment, and financial issues were arduous tasks undertaken by the board.
His steady hand as a board trustee, secretary/treasurer, and his last eight years as board president has helped pave the way and allowed for the collective efforts that have brought stability and success.
MAPS has unfluctuating student enrollment; a healthy fund balance; a favorable grade alignment; a one-to-one laptop program ensuring every student has a device; passed a sinking fund millage that has provided essential funding for the sole purpose of updating infrastructure such as boilers, roofs, and parking lots; passed a bond that allowed the district to add much needed classroom space at Superior Hills, Cherry Creek, and Graveraet elementary schools along with the building of the auxiliary gymnasium and makerspace at Marquette Senior High School; and a reliable strategic planning mechanism that keeps the district focused on self improvement.
Mr. Rossway has at times stood alone on issues, but most often, has been the leader and unifying force behind Board decisions that have shaped our district for the past 21 years. One may at times disagree with these most difficult of decisions, but it is hard to argue the dedication, commitment and sacrifice Mr. Rossway has so willingly given to the children, staff, and community that make up the Marquette Area Public Schools.
To our friend, mentor, colleague, and champion of education we thank you for 21 remarkable years on the board of education!