August 9, 2022
I am sure by now you’ve heard the news that last night, the GLPS Board of Education appointed me to be the new superintendent of our district. While I am certainly saddened by Dr. Davenport’s resignation, and wish him the best as he focuses on his health, I am thrilled and excited to have this opportunity to work with all of you in this new capacity.
I will be communicating with you pretty regularly over the next couple of weeks, leading up to opening day, and then throughout the school year. However, I wanted make sure that I shared a couple of things with you right out of the gate today:
- I am a GLPS alum; I grew up in Wacousta, and attended Wacousta Elementary School, Hayes Middle School, and Grand Ledge High School. I have a bachelor’s degree from Western Michigan University, and a master’s and educational doctorate from Michigan State University. I started my career as a 9th grade algebra teacher at Eastern High School in Lansing, then taught 9th grade algebra and English in Charlotte. I was also a middle school writing coach, an intervention coordinator (providing supports to help students graduate on time), an assistant football coach, the English department chair, and a forensics advisor in Charlotte as well. I became the Charlotte High School principal in 2011, and then became the assistant superintendent for academic services here in Grand Ledge in 2019.
- From my perspective, the superintendent needs to be the lead learner, or the instructional leader, of the district. My focus is, and will always be, student learning and ensuring that our academic and extracurricular programs are providing your children with the support they need to be successful. This includes ensuring that we are creating a welcoming, safe environment that elevates student voices while recognizing and affirming their unique experiences, needs, and perspectives.
- I believe that school and family partnerships are essential to successful school districts. I will be reaching out in the coming weeks with specific opportunities for engagement, and I also plan to be present in the buildings and at events. I included a picture with this message so you know what I look like; please say hello when you see me!
- In May, the Board approved our district strategic plan. The mission, vision, beliefs, and focus areas will guide our work, inform our resource allocation, and create alignment and focus for us as we move through the next 3-5 years. There is a lot more to come, but I wanted to make sure to share the outline with you today. It can be viewed here.
Thank you for all you do for your kids, our district, and our community. I look forward to the opportunity to work with you, and I am excited about the future of Grand Ledge Public Schools.
As always, I am #proudtobeacomet!
Dr. Bill Barnes
Superintendent of Schools