January was School Board Recognition Month and Bentley Community Schools joined 540 local and 56 intermediate school districts across the state to thank these community volunteers for their untiring dedication to public education.
Serving on a school board has been described as the toughest volunteer job in America. Yet Michigan’s public school board members dedicate countless personal hours to attending meetings, school functions, and hours of preparation for the decisions they make.
On top of that, many pursue their own professional development to stay on top of the ever-changing education landscape. Collectively, school board members in Michigan have spent about 7,000 hours attending training and professional development. They’re dedicated individuals who are committed to the continuing success of our schools and students.
We’d like to take a moment to introduce our dedicated board members:
A special welcome is extended to Katrina Bailey, our newest board member. Katrina has lived in Burton for 12 years and loves the community. “I want to make a difference in our children’s lives.” said Katrina. “From day one, I’ve felt I was part of the Bulldog family.” The mother of five daughters, Katrina also works at the Genesee Intermediate School District as a para educator.
Tim McComb, a 26 year resident of Burton, has served on the board for two years so he can “help other Bentley people.” Bentley is special to him because all of his children attended school here; his 3 daughters were all homecoming queens and his son was on the king’s court. When Tim isn’t performing board duties, he enjoys his retirement spending time with his family, camping, and boating.
Lifelong Burton resident Angela Jackson has been on the board for two years and is now serving as the vice president. Wanting to positively impact the district, the stay-at-home mom feels “very privileged and honored to serve.” Having attended Bentley K-12, Angela is proud to be sending her son and daughter to the same school system.
Bentley’s longest serving board member, Toby Bauldry, has been dedicating her time for 12 years. Prior to serving on the board, Toby was a Bentley bus driver for 33 years. She loves children and wants to make sure they have a good education and the same advantages she felt her five children had when they attended Bentley. “It’s a great school,” said Toby. “I like that it’s small, that the teachers have a better rapport with students. I think it’s great that families stay and come back because it’s a great school.”
Board President Elaine Beckelic has been on the board since 2011 because she wanted to “ensure that quality decisions were being made in [her] daughter’s school district.” Elaine is currently a legal secretary at the Law Offices of Henry M. Hanflik and enjoys reading in her spare time. Bentley is special to her because she enjoys living in a small town where she can see more familiar faces than strangers.
Owner of Angus Electric, Ty Burt, has lived in Burton essentially his entire life. He joined the board because he wanted to help with the “rebirth” of Bentley. “To me, Bentley isn’t just a school, it’s a home. Three generations of my family have worn the Bulldog red and white and I consider all Bulldogs to be family.” Ty also enjoy coaching youth sports and is proud of family: his wife and their four children.
Renee Gatica has been serving on the board for 9 years. Her interest in Bentley schools started when she became a booster member when her son started kindergarten at Bentley and has been increasingly involved in the school district as her two sons became active in many school activities. “I graduated from Atherton and always though I’d be a Wolverine,” said Renee. “Now that I’m involved with my children and their activities, I bleed RED and WHITE. Go Dogs!” Renee works in treasury management at Huntington Bank and enjoys watching Bentley sports—football, basketball, and skeet—and spending time family and friends.