Welcome to the 2020-2021 school year. There is no doubt that this year is going to be more difficult than in year’s past. COVID-19 has provided a lot of barriers to education for our staff, students, and parents. While it may be more difficult to educate this year, we still have the same focus on quality education. What might look and feel different doesn’t mean it needs to be substandard. As a school and community team, we can make this year a successful year together. Every effort we put into doing our part this year will make a long term difference for our students. I thank everyone for their support and dedication to our students' current and future life successes.
This is my fifth year as the Superintendent of Portland Public Schools and as I look back over the years I am always impressed with what we have accomplished and excited for the future. The dedication to success that I see across the district and throughout the community is humbling. This is absolutely a great place to work, live, and to go to school. I am very fortunate to be at the district in which my children, Bella, Anna, and Sammy-J go to school, and to be able to work with my wife, Jamie, who is a DK teacher at Oakwood. There is plenty of Raider PRIDE in our family! Portland is and always will be home to our family.
I earned my Bachelor's of Science Degree from Michigan State University in Biological Science Interdepartmental. After MSU I spent five years teaching science at Owosso High School. I obtained my Master's degree from Grand Valley State University in Secondary Education Administration. This degree allowed me to move into administration and I spent six years at Morrice Area Schools serving as the Jr/Sr High Principal and Superintendent. I was very fortunate and privileged during my career to serve a total of 16 years in the U.S. Navy (5 years on active duty and 11 years as a reservist) as both a P-3 Orion Flight Engineer and leadership instructor. My time in the service was a critical part of my education. I learned multiple leadership strategies and developed a better understanding of our diverse country and world.
It is my job to ensure that Portland Public Schools provides the best education for all students in Portland. The decisions that we make as a district are always made with a focus on what is in the best interest of our students, families, and community. My focus is to maintain the local control of our community school in order to meet the needs of our students, families, and community. We are excited that in the years ahead you will see a steady increase in opportunities for all students. While Portland may grow and opportunities may increase, we will still embrace the small town feel that makes Portland a special place to live, work, and go to school.
Please give me a call, send me an email, or flag me down when you see me if you have a concern, comment, suggestion, or just want to talk education.