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03-07-2019 Interviews for superintendent begin for Watervliet Public Schools; Rod and Jeanette Win

Interviews for superintendent begin for Watervliet Public Schools

By Kristy Noack The Watervliet Board of Education began the first round of interviews for the position of superintendent Monday evening. Special meetings were held Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday for the six candidate interviews. Dr. Sean Wightman met with the board first on Monday. He currently is the middle school principal at Dowagiac Union Schools and has held that position since 2017. Previously, Dr. Wightman was the auxiliary principal at West Bloomfield from 2013 – 2017. Kelly Eckhardt was interviewed following Dr. Wightman. Eckhardt is the current Fennville Public Schools high school principal and has held that position since 2017. Prior to joining Fennville, Eckhart was a middle school principal at Shepherd Public Schools from 2012-2017. She was also the Alternative Education principal at Shepherd from 2007-2012. Eckhardt held the role of alternative education principal at Evart Public Schools from 1999-2007. Tuesday’s special meeting gave the board a chance to interview Greg Blomgren and Ric Seager. Blomgren currently holds the position of high school principal at St. Joseph (MI) Public Schools. He was appointed to the position of principal in 2016. He was the assistant principal from 2011-2016 and was the Dean of Students from 2009-2011 at St. Joe. Ric Seager is the high school principal at Schoolcraft and has held that position since 2015. Prior to that, he was the director of school improvement for Kalamazoo Public Schools from 2010-2015 and the principal at Bronson Jr./Sr. High School from 2004-2010. During Wednesday’s special meeting, Dr. Raymond Lechner and Jonathan Whan were interviewed. Dr. Lechner has been the superintendent of Wilmette Public Schools District 39 in Wilmette, Illinois since 2007. Lechner joined Wilmette schools in 1999 as an administrator for student services before being appointed to the role of superintendent. He plans to retire from Wilmette following the close of the current school year. Lechner was also the director of special education for Orland School District 135 (IL) from 1990-1999. Jonathan Whan has served as the superintendent of Grant Public Schools since 2012. Prior to joining the Grant school system, he was the assistant superintendent of Bedford Public Schools from 2010-2012. He was the high school principal at Godwin Heights Public Schools from 2003-2010. From 1999-2003 he was the assistant principal at Bay City High School and was the assistant principal and athletic director at Central Montcalm high school from 1989-1999. The meetings were open to the public. Following Wednesday’s final interview, the board will work to determine if a second round of interviews with any of the six candidates is needed and how many people will be invited back to speak to answer additional questions from the board. According to Watervliet Board of Education President Bill Spaulding, “It is our hope to have a person in place by July 1.”

Rod and Jeanette Winkel celebrate 50th Wedding Anniversary

Rodney and Jeanette Winkel are celebrating their 50th Wedding Anniversary! They were married at Trinity Lutheran Church in Lansing on March 15, 1969 after being set up on a blind date by their fraternity brother and sorority sister while students at Michigan State University.

Rodney, originally from Hartford, and Jeanette from Lansing, made Watervliet their home after college. Rodney was a lifelong fruit farmer in Bainbridge Township and Jeanette began her career as a teacher in Hartford before leaving to work in the family business as office manager at Greg Orchards and Produce.

Rod and Jeanette have three wonderful daughters, Stacy (Eric) Smith of Hartford, Lisa (Mark) Epple of Watervliet and Amanda (Dominic) Tuccini of Geneva IL. They are also the proud grandparents of Russell and Marshall Smith, Wyatt and Owen Epple, and Vinny and Gianna Tuccini. They will be celebrating their great accomplishment of 50 years this summer on an Alaskan cruise with family and friends.

Lenten Fish Fry begins March 8 Every Friday during Lent, beginning March 8, 2019 through April 19, the Coloma American Legion Post 362 is hosting a Lenten Fish Fry from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. Fish dinners include au gratin potatoes, green beans, coleslaw, bread and coffee and cost $10 each. All you can eat fish dinners are $13. Children ages 4 to 12 are $5 each and children 3 and younger eat for free. Takeouts are available by calling 269-468-5501. Coloma American Legion Post 362 is located at 351 E. St. Joseph St. in Coloma.

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