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Trustee Bertrand steps down from board

August 11, 2010 - Goodrich-At a special meeting on Monday night, the school board accepted the resignation of Board Trustee James Bertrand.

School Board President Michael Tripp, who at times battled with Bertrand over a variety of issues, said he brought plenty of knowledge to the board over the years.

"I did not always agree with Jim, but I respected his ideas," said Tripp. "His business knowledge will be missed and we wish him the best."

Bertrand was first elected to the board in 2004 and resigned effective Aug. 9.

"I've been traveling for my job more each year," said Bertrand. "They take me out of state more often and have moved my office from the Detroit area to Philadelphia. With the amount of travel it's difficult for me to attend school board meetings. It's not fair to the community for me to be gone so often. While I've been up to speed with the issues and decisions of the board—it's not been easy."

Bertrand said that both of his children have now graduated from Goodrich High School.

"I think it's important that school board members have kids in the district. That fact provides a differing view of the decisions you make as a board member."

Following his years on the school board, Bertrand said the district has come a long way and is much further ahead than when he started.

"We've had some crazy times," he said. "Superintendent John Fazer is outstanding. The working environment is great here now. The interactions with the community have improved greatly. However, given the state of the economy, the pressures put on the budget-making process is now crucial to the future of the district."

Bertrand said the business aspect of promoting the district has become far more paramount over his six years.

"A key element has been the implementation of the Schools of Choice—we've lost more students than we thought we would. The biggest economic challenge is yet to come in this a huge issue right now and in the future. We need to do all we can to keep families in the Goodrich area and at the same time attract new students. The district has so much to offer from some of the top test scores in Genesee County to state championship sports teams to outstanding staff—Goodrich Schools has plenty to be proud of. I've enjoyed the time I've been here. It's an awesome school district."

Bertrand's term will expire in 2013. Letters of interest will be accepted by the board until Aug. 25, 2010.

A temporary trustee will be appointed on Aug. 30 during a special board meeting and serve until June 30, 2011. A new trustee will be elected for a two-year term in May 2011.

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