Three candidates to be interviewed for board seat

Norm Taylor
Jeff Koon
Cinnamon Mellema

Three candidates seeking to fill a vacancy on the Wayland Board of Education will be interviewed in a special meeting at 5:30 p.m. Monday, Feb. 7, at Baker Elementary.

The three, former Board President Cinnamon Mellema, former Superintendent Norm Taylor and Jeff Coon, have expressed interest in succeeding Trustee Jason Shane, who resigned earlier this month because he is moving out of the district.

Six other candidates also expressed interest, including Anthony Gutierrez, Ken Bos, Bradley Geers, Derek Mulder and Aubrey Clark.

The candidate selected next month will be seated until results of the November election are known. All of the nine are eligible for file for the position.

The interviews will precede the regular Board of Education meeting at 7 p.m. Feb. 7.

In other business at the work session Monday evening, the board:

• Had a lengthy discussion about health officials recent recommendations against gatherings of more than 100 people because of the recent spate of Omicron-driven Covid cases.

It was suggested that the board delegate Supt. Dr. Christina Hinds to review each of the events on a case-by-case basis.

But Board Member Janelle Hott said it’s unfair to penalize students and parents in the music and theater programs, who don’t generally the sizes of crowds from sporting events.

Board Vice President Peter Zondervan said, “We want to reach out to the community, but we want the community to be vetted as well… Our Fine Arts Center (the venue for plays and concerts) is not designed for social distancing.”

Hinds indicated no other community or school district in Allegan County is limiting activities and events.

• Had extensive discussion on board operations, but did not make changes.

There has been a proposal to have one spokesperson speak to the board on behalf of a like-minded delegation, but Board Presidenmt Dan Cassini said, “In times like these, we need to hear what the public has to say.”
• Agreed to the purchase of two school buses, one for $99,703 and another for $101,945 from Midwest Transit.

• Established a Fine Arts Committee on the board.

• Agreed to have more work sessions and meetings at the high school media center rather than the administration building because of more space to accommodate the public.

• Considered, but did not act on a proposal to increase pay for board members from $30 to $40 per meeting. Some school boards in West Michigan are served by all-volunteer boards.

• Discussed having some kind of appreciation dinner or ceremony honoring teachers. Assistant Superintendent for Finance and Operations Patricia Velie insisted the cost for such events would be absorbed by funds from the Gun Lake Casino.

• Received a recommendation from Velie to buy 20 mobile cafeteria tables at Pine Street Elementary for $32,776 from School Outlet.

Velie noted, “It is the last building (in the district) to get new cafeteria furniture.”


  • I understand the hiring process however does one really think the board will go against one of their own……….Welcome Cinnamon Mellema as the new board member at the next board meeting…….


  • Knowing Mr. Taylor and having worked with him, his quest to impress and dominate others with his know-it-all attitude, I personally do not think it is a good idea to have a potential problem between the appointed Superintendent and an elected board member.

Leave a Comment