SPS Superintendent Leaving
After nine years of having Rolfe Timmerman serve as the superintendent of Saugatuck Public Schools, district officials announced they are ready for a change in leadership.
Timmerman has nearly 30 years of teaching and administration experience in the public school system. During his nine-year tenure, the district and Timmerman enjoyed successes, but also were beset with numerous scandals that involved teachers, administrators and a community church.
“We have spent a lot of energy going through our strategic vision and going through our human-centered design process to figure out where we are going,” said SPS President Jeff Myers.
“And this is a process that Rolfe (Timmerman) has played a role in and we’ve valued his contributions. We asked, ‘How do we take Saugatuck Public School to the next level, the highest level?’” Myers told The Local Observer Tuesday about how the board reached its decision ending Timmerman’s tenure.
“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,” noted Myers.
In an Oct. 16 district statement to parents and the community, Timmerman said, “It has been an honor and privilege to work with an incredible team of administrators, teachers, support staff, coaches and board members and to serve the families of the Saugatuck Public Schools.”
“I couldn’t be more proud of our hard working and incredibly successful students and everything this community has achieved together to make SPS the best small school district in Michigan for them. I am thankful for the opportunity to have served as superintendent and will continue to cheer on SPS in the future and support them through this leadership transition.”
Timmerman has had to deal with problematic issues as well.
In one of the most recent controversial issues facing the district, Third Coast Church was compelled to terminate its lease agreement with the district when a number of parents and community members publicly told the school board the church had anti-gay undertones, and they alleged the agreement constituted a constitutional violation of the separation of church and state clause.
In another previous scandal, former SPS Director of Business Elizabeth Broderick was forced to resign following allegations of nepotism and featherbedding.
Broderick abruptly terminated All In One Service, a local custodial service business, back in July 2015 only after All In One Services had first—at the request of and pressure by Broderick—hired Broderick’s son (Joey) and the sons of other school officials (one was Kolin Kazen, son of SPS Basketball Coach Tom Kazen) for job positions.