The Administrative Shuffle

The Administrative Shuffle

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Superintendent Dr. Chris Timmis informed students, staff, and the DCS community of major changes regarding district staffing changes in a bombshell email

BY AIDAN NAUGHTON

On the evening of November 16th, Dr. Timmis sent out a bombshell version of his bi-monthly Superintendent Update. 

The lengthy email focused on the staffing issue within Dexter Community Schools, new administrative roles, but the biggest surprise was in relation to Dexter High School Assistant Principal Ken Koenig leaving Dexter High School at the end of January to become the interim Principal at Mill Creek; longtime Mill Creek Principal announced her retirement effective February 1.

Will the interim principal position become full-time for Mr. Koenig? After all, he was one of the final four candidates for the Dexter High School principal position last spring.

“As it was a difficult decision to make because I have spent 21 years at DHS as a teacher and administrator, I am quite excited for the opportunity to lead the staff and students at Mill Creek,” Koenig said in an email to The Squall. “As far as the interim label, I intend to put all efforts toward making Mill Creek the great middle school it has been known as. It will be tough to fill the shoes of Ms. Bronson, as she is a tremendous leader in her building, our district, and in the field of education in the state of Michigan. With that said, I am up to the challenge and look forward to working with the younger students in our district.”

Ken_Koenig

Replacing Koenig is just the first of many administrative changes. DHS’ new assistant principal, on an interim basis at first, will be David Teddy. Teddy is currently the Director of Community Education and Jenkins Early Childhood Learning Center. Additionally, long-time Principal Craig McCalla will be stepping away as the Anchor Elementary principal by becoming the district’s first Principal of Operations. In this role, McCalla will be in charge of facilitating how the remaining $3 million from the Series One 2017 bond will be spent.

“This includes essential projects like completing lingering punch-list items, pool repairs, bleachers, updating the CPA technology, boilers, water heaters, parking lot projects, and a list of high-priority projects that were part of the 2017 bond,” Timmis wrote in his email.

In order for the district to begin spending Series 2 an approximate $17 million, the district must spend the remaining $3 million. McCalla will also be in charge of recruiting and maintaining staff, specifically support staff an issue previously addressed by The Squall.

Lastly, McCalla will oversee the Building and Grounds Department along with the Transportation Department. Through these tasks, McCalla will work with both departments closely in an attempt to create new methods for “cleaning buildings, transporting students, and proving other services.”

“This will require time and focus to look at every aspect of our organization to help us find new models to meet the needs of our students, families, and staff,” Timmis said. “There’s always the fear that saying ‘another plan’ means privatizing services. We will not be privatizing services.”

Since McCalla will become the Principal of Operations, newly hired Beacon Principal Brooke Stidham will pursue the Leadership Principal for both Beacon and Anchor Elementary School. The intent of this position is to have one main principal for both buildings since they are connected.

In addition to this elementary position, there will be an assistant elementary principal position. At the moment, Katie Heikkila will serve as the interim assistant principal for the elementary schools. Heikkila has a broad background within Dexter Community Schools. For instance, Heikkila has taught special education for elementary and middle school students, she has taught at the Dexter Alternative Education, she has led the Dexter Early Middle College Program, and she created the Dread Strong Summer Program that took place this past summer. 

“Her background with programming from our youngest learners to our oldest learners, from special education to general education, and from traditional buildings to alternative education buildings is extremely unique and we’re fortunate to have Mrs. Heikkila at DCS to help us with our youngest learners,” Timmis said. 

With Koenig’s no longer holding the Alternative Education Principal position and Heikkila no longer leading the Early Middle College, Lauren Thompson will take over both duties. Thompson is currently the part-time Creekside Assistant Principal and part-time Graduation Coach.

Thompson will be continuing to be the part-time Creekside Assistant Principal, but she will have “teaching and principal leadership roles with Dexter Alternative Education and Dexter Early Middle College.”

As a result, Shelly Rychener, a social worker at DHS, will become the Graduation Coach and will also support Alternative Education Students. Abby Holland, DHS Special Education Department Chair, will serve as the special education liaison between DHS, Alternative Education, and Dexter Early Middle College while continuing her leadership and teaching roles at DHS.

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