Posted on 04/01/2019
MSBO LogoPort Huron Schools was informed last week that the district will be honored with a 2019 Michigan School Business Officials Meridian Award of Excellence for “Embracing Our Stakeholders Voice After Construction.” This award and its communication excellence refer specifically to the engagement the district has had with rollout of the 2016 “Building Tomorrow, Today” bond work, which is currently in its third and final phase of construction. Superintendent Jamie Cain acknowledged, “Our approach to this communication system was collaborative, efficient and successful. It’s very fulfilling to be recognized at the state level for inclusively communicating and involving our personnel. As the third largest employer in St. Clair County, we knew that an innovative approach would be needed and this reward is gratifying evidence that we continue to prioritize communication and the needs of our stakeholders to great effect.”

Executive Director of Innovation and Operations Theo Kerhoulas noted, “This stems from the way we engage our people closest to the bond work in our buildings. Their voice matters and continues to be instrumental in ensuring the bond work is completed to our standards.”

Throughout the three phase bond construction process in 18 buildings throughout Port Huron Area School District, leadership intentionally decided to embrace the voice of the people closest to the bond work - the teachers and support staff in those buildings. A personalized application was developed asking staff to assess the work in their buildings, provide specific feedback and even send photos of issues they discovered.
To date, well over 2,000 items have been reported to the district and its construction partners. 96 percent have been successfully addressed and the others are in process. The effect of this effort was to go beyond a standard contractor “punch list” and have the end users of these new educational facilities support addressing the details of these learning environments. This was also intended to foster a culture of ownership and collaborativeness.

Meridian Award winners will be formally announced in the April issue of the MSBO eNews & Views and as a part of the Awards Recognition on Wednesday, May 1 in Grand Rapids at a MSBO event. PHSchools will receive $1,000 for a scholarship fund and a crystal award, both of which will be presented at a Port Huron Schools’ Board of Education meeting later this year.