12-13-2018 Jarpe named Interim Superintendent for Watervliet Schools; Barchett honored for 14 years

2019 MISS HARTFORD and her court were crowned Sunday afternoon at the Hartford High School auditorium. The court includes (from the left): Miss Congeniality Cecilia Perales, 2nd Runner-up Piper Reinhardt, Miss Hartford Brynn Duffy; and 1st Runner-up Mikenzie Chambers. (TCR photo by Annette Christie)


Jarpe named Interim Superintendent for Watervliet Schools; Barchett honored for 14 years of service

By Kristy Noack

The Monday, December 10 Watervliet Public Schools Board of Education meeting proved bittersweet as the district welcomed a new interim superintendent and said goodbye to a longtime board member.

The board formally contracted with Dr. John Jarpe to become the district’s interim superintendent. Jarpe will replace Kevin Schooley, who leaves the district after accepting an offer for the position of superintendent at South Haven Area Schools.

INTERIM SUPERINTENDENT FOR WATERVLIET… The Watervliet Public Schools Board of Education formally contracted with Dr. John Jarpe during Monday’s meeting to become interim superintendent of the district beginning Monday, December 17. (TCR photo by Kristy Noack)


Dr. Jarpe mostly recently led the Brandywine Community Schools as superintendent for 10 years, retiring in June of 2017. He spent 19 years as a principal and special education teacher at St. Joseph Public Schools (MI) and was an adjunct faculty member at Western Michigan University from 1998 to 2008.

Jarpe graduated from the University of Michigan with a degree in history.  He received his Master of Arts in Education from Wayne State University. Jarpe earned his doctorate in educational leadership from Western Michigan University.

Following the unanimous vote to appoint Jarpe as the interim superintendent, with a contracted period of December to June 30, 2019, board president Bill Spaulding said, “He will lead us for the foreseeable future as we begin the search for a new superintendent.”

Jarpe said, “I’ve lived [in the area] for a long time. I grew up in Niles. I’ve known Watervliet as straight forward, hardworking people, my kind of people.”

Jarpe retired from Brandywine in 2017 following 44 years in the education field. “I had grandkids growing up,” he shared, explaining why he retired. Upon hearing of the opening at Watervliet, Jarpe said, “The more I thought about it, the more I felt it would be a good fit.”

The board previously interviewed Dave Waaso and Jarpe last week before extending an offer to Jarpe. Spaulding referred to both candidates as “highly skilled superintendents.”

Schooley commented, “I’ve known John for many years. He is a student-centered superintendent, which I think is huge. I have a lot of respect for John, and he’s going to do a good job.”

Spaulding said, “His experience with curriculum, his experience working with a similar sized district,” were key points of interest for the board members.  “We need somebody to keep us on the track of excellence on which we’ve become accustomed.”