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June 18, 2019 4:42 pm

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Former SPS Superintendent Named Lakeshore Elementary Principal In Holland

Former Saugatuck Public Schools (SPS) Superintendent Rolfe Timmerman will be starting a new job as principal of Lakeshore Elementary School in West Ottawa School District on the north side of Holland.

“You miss the kids when you get to central office,” Timmerman told The Local Observer Monday about his previous experience working as a principal before his nine-year stint as superintendent for the SPS district.

“I am really looking forward to working on day-to-day things with the kids, the teachers abd the staff,” he said.

In his introduction letter to the Lakeshore parents and families, dated Jan. 11, 2018, Timmerman states, in part, “When the offer came from Superintendent Martin (West Ottawa Public Schools Superintendent Thomas K. Martin) to be the principal of Lakeshore Elementary, I immediately discussed this opportunity with my wife and children. My daughter Lindsay, who works for he Indianapolis Public Schools, my son Thomas who attends Belmont University in Nashville, my son Eli who is a 7th grader in Hamilton, and my wife Stacy all agreed this would be a great chance to continue my passion and calling to support families and educate children during their most formative years.”

Timmerman has nearly 30 years of teaching and administration experience in the public school system. In his nine-year tenure with the SPS district Timmerman was beset with a number of scandals that involved teachers, administrators, and a community church. However, the district also received praise as it is considered one of the best small school districts in Michigan by state educational agencies.

Last fall in 2017, the SPS Board announced they were ready for a change in leadership and, in explaining why Timmerman was leaving, then-SPS Board President Jeff Myers noted, “It certainly was not a difference of future vision (that instigated the termination), it was more of Rolfe’s leadership style not being a fit for our aggressive vision for the future.”

Timmerman commented on this, telling the Observer Monday, “It was certainly an amicable separation. You know, sometimes you need a fresh set of eyes. I was hired by a different board than the current board.

“I have nothing but respect—and the fondest memories—for the students, the staff and parents of Saugatuck.”

Timmerman is starting his new job on Jan. 29th. He concedes the district entails a more diverse student body than SPS, but he is not new to that nor is he new to the role of being principal.

Before SPS, he was principal of St. Clair Elementary for three year in Hesperia, MI, within a district he says has a significant student population of immigrants and is 90 percent free or reduced-price lunch.

Lakeshore received a “Beating the Odds” award from the Michigan Department of Education in 2010–2014.

Former SPS Superintendent Named Lakeshore Elementary Principal In Holland

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