Hello and welcome to Holton Public Schools! It is going to be a GREAT school year as we work together to help your child or children be successful and grow as learners!
In an effort to help students, families, and the greater school community get to know who I am, I want to share my story with each of you. I grew up in Shelby, a community very similar to Holton, which is not too far up the road. I had a great school experience while going through Shelby Public Schools, and am forever thankful to all of the wonderful educators who had such a strong influence on my career today as an educator. There were a countless number of educators who served as mentors and role models to me. Growing up, I was also fortunate to have wonderful parents, grandparents, and a strong family structure that helped create an environment at home that was conducive to learning, but more importantly, was based upon care and respect toward one another. These values have shaped who I am today. I share these stories about myself to communicate my values, the importance of education, and lastly, to say thank you to all of the special people in my life that have helped me be where I am today.
After graduating from Shelby High School, I attended Grand Valley State University and earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Education, with an emphasis in Science (Biology, Chemistry, Physics, and General Science). I had the fortunate pleasure to then complete my student teaching under the mentorship of Jack Schugars at Oakridge High School. I was so blessed with this experience and am forever grateful to Coach Schugars for his mentorship, as well as for his faith in me as a young teacher. After four years in the classroom, of which I taught General Science, Biology, Anatomy and Physiology, Chemistry, Advanced Placement Chemistry, and Physics, I was promoted to become the principal and athletic director at Oakridge Middle School. At this time, I had earned a Master’s Degree in Educational Leadership from Grand Valley State University, where I was honored as the “Distinguished Graduate” in the field of Educational Leadership. I spent two years in the capacity as middle school principal and learned a great deal about working with middle school aged children. Most importantly, I grew fond of working with children of the middle school age. After completing two years in this capacity, I had the pleasure of following the same group of students that I had worked with at the middle school to Oakridge High School, where I became the principal of that building. During my time there as principal, I am most proud of the great gains and accomplishments that were made in my time there. Once again, I am forever grateful to the students, staff, and the greater Egleston Township community for helping me become the educator that I am today.
After my time in Oakridge, I was hired on July 1, 2012 as the superintendent of Holton Public Schools. Shortly before being hired, I earned a Specialist’s Degree in Educational Leadership from Grand Valley State University. When the opportunity became available, I jumped at the chance to come to Holton, after having spent a great deal of time in the community, as my grandparents lived on Holton Whitehall Road, just into Blue Lake Township for more than 30 years. I remember many of the summers spent in Holton at Holton Days, while my father, grandfather, and uncles participated in the horseshoe tournament. I grew fond of the community through several visits to local restaurants and a couple of the local businesses prior to being hired. I spent a great deal of time learning about Holton Public Schools and the greater school community, and quickly came to understand the passion that was inside of me to help Holton Public Schools continue to serve and meet the needs of our greater school community.
After one year as the superintendent, the decision was made to consolidate the superintendent’s position with that of the elementary principal’s position. It has been a decision that has not only been a wonderful experience in my career, and one that has helped Holton Public Schools financially, but also an experience that continues to help me grow stronger as an educational leader to help the continued improvement of our school system. There is much work to be done yet, but I have grown fond of the students, staff, and community, and am committed to making Holton Public Schools an experience that allows our students to grow, learn, graduate, and then succeed. The motto of the district, “Rooted in Community, Reaching for Excellence” exemplifies what I hope for the system to be, a community that is strong in its heritage and community values, while also continuing to reach for excellence in all that we do. Further, these values exemplify what a true school community and family are all about.
I would be remised if I did not mention my wife Beth and my children Brayden (5th grader), Christian (3rd grader), and Kolten (Pre-school). Along with my faith, my parents, and my brother and his family, they are the most important people in my life. Our boys attend Holton Elementary School, we have become members of a local church in town, and we are committed to the Holton community. We look forward to getting to know you! If there is anything that I can ever do for you, please know that my door is open to you. Thank you for allowing me to share my story with you! On Holton!