Volume 3 No. 7
In Memory of Eric Royston

Eric Royston joined the Leelanau Montessori community in July of 2016, taking on the role of school's new Head of School. In February 2017, the school learned they would not be reauthorized by their current authorizer in June of 2018, and they would need to seek a new site to reside as well. The school had a short amount of time to secure an authorizer and new location, Eric led the school meticulously and bravely, knowing Leelanau Montessori's future was at stake.

In September, 2017 the school was able to secure a charter through Bay Mills Community College, but still needed to secure a building for their school. In May of 2018, after many months of fundraising and many many 'unknowns' as Eric would say, Leelanau Montessori was able to purchase their very own building in Lake Leelanau. In the midst of all the celebrating, Eric, Montessori's fearless leader, learned he had stage IV pancreatic cancer.

In June 2017, Leelanau Montessori purchased their new building, Eric and Board members were in attendance. Eric had just received his first round of chemo and was dealing with painful blood clots in his leg, but he was there to sign those papers. Our fearless leader was wounded physically and mentally, but he would not miss this day.

There are many stories of Eric I have reflected on in the weeks since his death. Reread many texts and emails looking for guidance, and a couple have resonated with me. At the beginning of school year, facing terminal cancer and a huge move for the school mid year, Eric emailed staff and board saying he was, 'excited for the future of our school and that this would be the best year yet!!' And then one of his last emails, 'I am grateful for all of you as I could not even begin to make it through this without you. Please continue to ask how I am doing and understand that I realize how difficult this is for all of you-no one wants to see anyone sick. I will answer honestly and promise to do it with a smile. My heart is filled with pride to be a part of this school and I look forward to seeing everyone tomorrow.'
That was Eric. He is missed greatly.

-Sarah Bordeaux, Leelanau Montessori Public School Academy Board President

Oakside Scholars Charter Academy, located in Waterford, MI and authorized by Bay Mills, opened in 2013. The Academy has a unique system where they incorporate a new "virtue" into their curriculum and activities each month. Parents are also encouraged to implement these virtues into the students' home life. The essential values taught through these virtues assist in molding the minds of young children to prepare them for middle school, high school and beyond. By instilling responsibility in the students to live out the virtues they are taught, and requesting parental partnerships, Oakside is creating a future of both personal and academic excellence for students.

With a moral focus in mind, Oakside keeps safety as a top priority for students and faculty. The Academy provides safety training to every staff member and student and has a zero-tolerance bullying policy. All students are expected to treat others with dignity and respect, as they teach students to live virtuous lives. Through these initiatives, Oakside is able to push students to reach higher while building character.
Oakside offers many opportunities for academic and personal success. From kindergarten to 8th grade, students are given a top-quality, well-rounded education. In grades K-2, young minds are given basic building blocks for future, tougher subjects. They build up the skills of empathy, compassion and understanding for others. Once they reach grades 5-8, the basic skills are elaborated on and high-level learning comes into play. The students develop their values of respect and cooperation and more personal responsibility. These skills help prepare them for middle school, a time of personal growth and discovery. Complex ideas and concepts begin to take the lead in academics as they learn to analyze and question the world around them.
The Academy provides fun in-school activities as well as after-school activities fo r students. Last month, Oakside had a Harry Potter Fan Day in honor of March Reading Month. The hallways were decorated for a door decorating contest at the beginning of March, exciting the students as they saw all of their favorite Harry Potter elements daily. On Fan Day, teachers and students dressed in the theme and Harry Potter was tied into lesson plans. For example, one class discussed the differences and similarities between the seventh book and movie. After school, you may find students setting a volleyball, problem-solving in Science Olympiad or giving their all onstage for drama club.

Oakside makes it possible for families to send their kids to school each day. Not only are the uniforms affordable, but they provide affordable meals at both breakfast and lunch. If parents are unable to pick up their children at the end of the day or have to drop them off early, the YMCA of North Oakland provides before and after school care. Oakside creates an atmosphere where parents and students alike feel welcomed and cared for by living out their mission and values daily. 

Learn more about Oakside Scholars Charter Academy by visiting their website: https://www.nhaschools.com/schools/Oakside-Scholars-Charter-Academy/en

Interested in gaining educational experience? Or are you looking to add to your resume? Consider becoming a charter school board member for a public school academy authorized by Bay Mills Community College Charter Schools Office!
At Bay Mills Community College, we support a quality education to urban, minority and/or poor children.
Bay Mills will provide all of our academy boards with pertinent training so that they are able to make choices that are in the best interest of the students that attend their academies .
Our public school academies are always looking for new members that bring a range of skills, experiences and desire to help the Academy students to excel academically, as well as having the goal of advancing the mission of Bay Mills.
Some requirements of the position:
  • Engagement with the goals of the Academy
  • Enthusiasm to be an ambassador for the Academy
  • Willingness to fulfill the obligation of a board member, as well as continue to uphold the standards of being a board member
Board Member Qualifications:
  • Citizen of the United States
  • Resident of the State of Michigan
  • Submit materials requested by the College Charter Schools Office such as:
    • Public School Academy Board Member Appointment Questionnaire
      • Must include authorization to process a background check of the nominee
      • Submit annual disclosure of conflicts of interest
Members of the Board of Directors shall include:
  • At least one parent or guardian of a child attending the school
  • One professional educator; preferably a person with school administrative experience
Members of the Board of Directors shall NOT include:
  • Any member appointed or controlled by another profit or non-profit corporation
  • Academy employees or independent contractors performing services for the Academy
  • Any current or former director, officer, or employee of a management company that contracts with the academy
  • College officials or employees 
All Academy Board members shall serve in their individual capacity, and not as a designee of any other person or entity. If it is found that a person is serving as a representative or designee of another person or entity, they shall be deemed ineligible to serve as a Director of the Academy Board. They shall be removed from office in accordance with provisions found in the Resolution or Schedule 2: Bylaws.
Note that a Director serves at the pleasure of the College Board, and may be removed with or without cause by the College Board at any time.
Working with an Academy is the perfect opportunity to advance your career interests, expand your knowledge on education and help children receive a quality education that will last a lifetime. Apply to become a board member today!

For more information or to receive an application, please contact Megan Ringuette, Bay Mills Community College Charter Schools Office Compliance Coordinator at 906-248-8419 or mringuette@bmcc.edu.
About Bay Mills Community College Charter Schools
Bay Mills Community College began authorizing charter schools in the year 2000 and now authorizes 46 schools serving approximately 22,000 students. Fall 2015: 22,729 and Spring 2016: 22,257
Our Mission: To ensure a quality education for urban, minority, and/or poor children by improving and expanding educational opportunities through innovative oversight methods. To provide academy boards with the necessary support and training so that they may make educated decisions that are in the best interest of the students that attend their academies.