Member Spotlight

We want to share good news about education! MASSP is turning the spotlight on members who are making an impact in their school, district and community. These members exemplify the mission of the MASSP: to advance learning through educational leadership.

Do you or someone you know deserve the spotlight, please fill out this Google Form.

Questions? Please contact Chelsey Martinez at chelseym@michiganprincipals.org


Brett Pedersen, Assistant Principal, Mill Creek Middle School - Dexter

How long have you worked in education?
14 years

How long have you been an administrator?
7 years

Give us a few personal details.
I met my wife Shannon in kindergarten and we now have two wonderful kids. Aria is four and loves pre-school and anything related to art. Sawyer is a one year old currently learning the fine art of being mischievous. My family centers me and helps me prioritize what is important in life. When not at school or spending time with my family I teach group fitness classes at our local wellness center. I also enjoy mountain biking during the warm months and cross country skiing when the snow flies.

What do you find most challenging about your job?
I think one of the biggest challenges emerging for districts across the state and country is the rise of mental health issues with our students and how to best support them. Washtenaw County has seen a continuous rise of students battling depression, anxiety, and suicidal ideation over the years. It is a deeply concerning trend and one that schools, hospitals, and mental health organizations are working hard to address in a more effective fashion.

What is most rewarding about your job?
It may sound cliche but the most rewarding part of my job is working with people. I enjoy working with students and seeing them grow from an academic, social, and emotional standpoint. We have an incredible staff at Mill Creek that is my second family. It is extremely motivating to work with such an incredible group of educators. I also enjoy working with parents in a team approach to support their child's journey through education. Our community is special and I enjoy having an active and meaningful role in it.

Tell us about a program/initiative at your school that you are proud of.
In the last two years we have made a huge push with PBL and personalized learning. Last year we piloted a personalized learning platform through Summit Learning. The possibilities with this delivery of instruction are very exciting. I've never seen a tool that allows teachers to truly personalize and differentiate learning like the Summit Platform. The focus is on students developing cognitive skills along with the content knowledge we've always covered. The teacher's role is truly that of facilitator and the student ownership over their own learning is impressive. We are teaching students to be good problem solvers rather than just teaching kids how to be "good at school". Administrators at all levels will appreciate that Summit Learning's platform, training, and support is free to those that apply and are accepted into their program.

What advice would you have for those who are new to the Principalship?
My best advice I have for anyone entering the profession is to listen really well and lose any ego that you had. You don't get respect from your job title but rather your actions. You earn the most points with your staff, students, and parents by rolling your sleeves up and working alongside them. You build a bridge with kids when you take the time to truly listen to them. You gain trust with parents when you approach student discipline as an opportunity to learn rather than something punitive. You develop a building of collaboration and cohesiveness when you allow staff to have power and decision making ability. You earn credibility from your custodial staff when you pick up the garbage bags in the lunchroom with them. People want to see that you're in the trenches with them. Be prepared to get those new shiny administrator suits dirty!

What is something you are working on or hoping to implement in the near future?
Our focus right now is really on making problem based learning a foundation of the way we teach. We want kids to truly develop the skills of critical thinking, problem solving, and collaboration. The jobs of the future will be seeking employees that are innovative, resourceful, collaborative, and resilient. I see this as our focus now and in the future.

Tell us about a training or book you've read recently that you found to be beneficial.
I've always found EdCon and other MASSP sponsored sessions to be highly beneficial and well worth my time for professional growth and development. Most recently, I found the Summit Learning Leadership Training to be very helpful and insightful for implementing our pilot program on the personalized learning platform.


Kelli Campbell, Director of Teaching and Learning, Kent ISD

How long have you worked in education?
12 years

How long have you been an administrator?
4 years

Give us a few personal details.
I have three kids, Lauryn 10, Madisyn 9, and Tyler 7. We love Michigan State Basketball - Go Green!! Our dog's name is Izzo : ) We love to travel and are busy planning our next road trip from LA to Seattle!!

What do you find most challenging about your job?
Time - Its the nonrenewable resource that we all struggle with, never having enough of.

What is most rewarding about your job?
Impact - Anytime I know that we have made an impact on students it is so fulfilling. This has been the most rewarding part of my entire career as an educator as I am sure it is with all of us.

Tell us about a program/initiative at your school that you are proud of.
This past spring I had the privilege of leading curriculum work in a local district. The teachers from all subject areas worked to prioritize standards and gain clarity around what they were teaching. They were dedicated to the process and their excitement and leadership were contagious. It was an honor to be a part of that work.

What advice would you have for those who are new to the Principalship?
Join MASSP!! When I was a new principal they were life savers. MASSP is an invaluable resource. The networking and training opportunities are fantastic!! Beyond the membership, I would encourage you to read the weblines (quick, awesome way to stay up on what's happening), attend PD (the 'Are They Telling The Truth' one was my favorite as a first year principal), and go to EDCON in June every summer (It's fun for the whole family, the networking is amazing).

What is something you are working on or hoping to implement in the near future?
We are launching the Kent ISD Michigan Mathematics Collaborative. One of the major components will be supporting teachers in the area of mathematics instruction through our Michigan Mathematics Educators Network (#MichME). We have over 180 participants registered and we are collaborating with other ISD Math Consultants in the region. We have also hired two new math specialist who will be supporting the initiative with hopes of elevating math education in classrooms, in districts, and across the region.

Tell us about a training or book you've read recently that you found to be beneficial.
I have been reading books by Brene Brown. I enjoyed 'The Gifts of Imperfection' and am currently reading 'Daring Greatly'. They have application to work and home. With the challenges we currently face as administrators I appreciate the focus on mindfulness.


Neil DeLuca, High School Principal, Rochester High School

How long have you worked in education?
15 years

How long have you been an administrator?
3 years

Give us a few personal details.
Married to my wonderful wife Terri for 11 years and have two beautiful children, Giuliana 3 and Angelo 6. Love everything about high school culture and family.

What do you find most challenging about your job?
Time: Leading a comprehensive high school can be challenging as there simply is not enough hours in a day to accomplish all your intended goals for one school day. From instructional rounds to building culture, you find yourself running out of time during the day. To cope with this, it is very important not to stretch yourself too thin on your calendar. Complete your short term goals with fidelity and delegate to the team that surrounds you. This includes your administration team and teachers.

What is most rewarding about your job?
School culture trumps everything. I am extremely fortunate to have taken over a school that was strong in school culture, pride, and commitment to achievement. When students and staff love their environment; culture only fosters a sustainable and welcoming instructional environment for all stakeholders.

Tell us about a program/initiative at your school that you are proud of.
As a school, all stakeholders felt a need to focus on our SAT results. The learning community of Rochester High School made it an instructional goal, but more important a cultural focus that we will be SAT ready. This led to an increase in our overall SAT score of 32 points moving from 1079 to 1111 in one academic year.

What advice would you have for those who are new to the Principalship?
Seek and surround yourself with stakeholders in your school culture that are seeking to advance the overall school community. Make yourself accessible to staff, parents, and students during and after the school day, as you create your learning culture with them.

What is something you are working on or hoping to implement in the near future?
The Rochester Community Schools Board of Education approved a strategic planning process that not only guided our district in strengthening its curriculum, instruction, assessment and global awareness, but also guided our efforts to continue to ensure a safe, secure, flexible and adaptable learning environment for our students. Rochester High School just underwent a massive renovation project entailing the renovation of our instructional spaces, building infrastructure, and technology. A new addition to our instructional spaces are our six collaboration areas and interactive flat panel displays in every classroom. Teachers have the availability to teach in a collaborative and professional environment by taking their classes to our new collaborative learning spaces, equipped with new technology and enhanced seating. If you have the chance to visit Rochester High School, you will notice student inquire, dialogue, and real world experiences in the classroom, utilizing our new instructional resources and learning spaces. Also, our school wide professional development for the school year will focus on teachers enhancing their instruction around their newly acquired classroom technology and collaborative spaces.

Tell us about a training or book you've read recently that you found to be beneficial.
The Ideal Team Player – Patrick Lencioni. In the book, Lencioni describes the ideal team player as Humble, Hungry, and Smart. If you are looking to bring aboard a new member to you administrative team and or instructional staff, this is a for sure read prior to interviewing.


Sheila Pilmore, Principal, Breckenridge Middle/High School

How long have you worked in education?
29 years

How long have you been an administrator?
21 years

Give us a few personal details.
I have been married to my husband Bill for 29 years. We have two kids, Alicia, 25 and Connor 21. Alicia is an EMU graduate and is currently pursuing her master's degree from MSU and working in Lansing. Connor will finish his bachelor's degree in December from Ferris State University. I enjoy walking and listening to books and I also do a little sewing in my spare time.

What do you find most challenging about your job?
The biggest challenge is staying current in the ever changing world of education, State and Federal laws, evaluation and accountability and changes in technology.

What is most rewarding about your job?
The most rewarding part is and has always been the kids I get to work with every day. Over the years it has been the constant in my job and I have been very fortunate to work with some great kids.

Tell us about a program/initiative at your school that you are proud of.
Our 1-to-1 technology initiative is in it's forth year and going strong. Our students each have device and our teachers use technology on a daily basis to enhance their classroom lesson and strengthen the curriculum. There is so much more available via the web then any book could possibly cover.

What advice would you have for those who are new to the Principalship?
Keep a positive attitude and be flexible, things don't always go as planned but they usually work out for the best.

What is something you are working on or hoping to implement in the near future?
We are working on a Power Hours for our half days. The hope is to build stronger relationships between students and staff through educational program enhancements that might not be taught through traditional curriculum.

Tell us about a training or book you've read recently that you found to be beneficial.
"The Power of Positive Leadership," by Jon Gordan. Jon is a great storyteller, his books reinforce what you are already doing and then pushing you to be a stronger leader through the positive leadership.


Mark Palmer, Principal, St. Johns High School

How long have you worked in education?
Mid way through year number 30 right now! One year as athletic director at Shepherd High School, 7 years teaching math and history at Fowlerville High School, three years as associate principal at Lake Orion High School, and the last 18 years at St. Johns High School!

How long have you been an administrator?
3 years as Associate Principal, 18 years as Principal.

Give us a few personal details.
My beautiful bride Denise and I have been married for 24 years. We have two daughters who are currently a sophomore and junior at SJHS. I enjoy running, bicycling, and really enjoy the yearly camping trip to Wilderness State Park.

What do you find most challenging about your job?
Trying to balance what I see as best for kids with what everyone on the outside thinks what is best for kids!

What is most rewarding about your job?
I really enjoy seeing the success of former students after they have left high school. For example, it gives me a great deal of pride and joy to have a graduate of SJHS as my chiropractor and also one as my dentist. I like to think that in some small way, I may have played a part in their career decision.

Tell us about a program/initiative at your school that you are proud of.
Any success SJHS has had is not because of me. All I have done is let my people be creative in doing good things for kids. I really try to let teachers use their talents to help our kids succeed!

What advice would you have for those who are new to the Principalship?
It can really be lonely as a principal, not many can relate to what we do each day. Take joy in your successes no matter how small and don't dwell on what doesn't work out! There is always going to be a new challenge each and every day, so you will always have something new to get you up or down each day!

What is something you are working on or hoping to implement in the near future?
I've been described as an "in the box" thinker. After 29 years, I have learned to embrace this picture of me! So nothing earth shattering here, I just plan to keep fighting the good fight and keep SJHS moving forward!

Tell us about a training or book you've read recently that you found to be beneficial.
Two things come to mind and neither are all that new. Last year as an entire staff we did a book study on John Hattie's book, Visible Learning. We had some of the best staff meetings and discussions that I have ever had here in St. Johns. That is not just me talking, teachers actually said that they saw purpose in attending staff meetings.

I also went to a four day workshop with Anita Archer on Explicit Instruction. It was a hoot to be the only high school principal in a ball room full of elementary and middle school teachers. I learned so much about explicit instruction that applies to high school. Plus, I think I was the teachers pet or at least she appeared to think I needed a little extra attention and I didn't even sit in the back of the room like a high school teacher/coach would do!


Nicholas Toodzio, Assistant Principal, Mason High School

How long have you worked in education?
25 Years

How long have you been an administrator?
14 years

Give us a few personal details.
I have a small 10 acre hobby farm where I have raised donkeys, cows, chickens, turkeys, ducks, goats, rabbits and any other critter that may have wondered onto the land! I have two wonderful adult children. I serve as Reserve Police Officer for city of Mason.

What do you find most challenging about your job?
Balancing all of the new legislation with the daily aspects of being effective at what I do every day.

What is most rewarding about your job?
Knowing that I have made a difference in students' lives and in the environment of the school.

Tell us about a program/initiative at your school that you are proud of.
Professional Learning Communities. Our entire administrative team visited the the motherland of PLC's at Lincolnshire with one of Rick DuFour's farewell sessions. We are moving forward with the PLC process!

What advice would you have for those who are new to the Principalship?
This is your job. Your family is your vocation.

What is something you are working on or hoping to implement in the near future?
I am always trying to enhance student leadership. We have student involvement in conversations about instruction. We are actively doing Instructional Rounds in our district. I want to get students involved in our Instructional Rounds and the follow up conversations.

Tell us about a training or book you've read recently that you found to be beneficial.
Most titles by John C. Maxwell or Todd Whitaker. I have recently found Tony Robbins relevant.


Lance Sumpter, Principal, Dailey Elementary School

How long have you worked in education?
16 years

How long have you been an administrator?
2 years

Give us a few personal details.
I just married in July 2017 to Keyatta (Nicky) Sumpter. I have 2 awesome kids, Tyson and Tania Davis. I love spending time with my family. I also have a few hobbies that I enjoy: playing golf & basketball, riding motorcycles, working out and reading.

What is something you are working on or hoping to implement in the near future?
We are working on a new PBIS system in the district. I’m hoping we will have it fully implemented by the 2nd semester.

Tell us about a training or book you've read recently that you found to be beneficial.
Shifting the Monkey by Todd Whitaker is a very good read. It discusses the problems that occur when you shift responsibilities to someone else. Also, how it deteriorates the organization as a whole by relieving people from being accountable to their roles and responsibilities.

What do you most value about your MASSP membership?
For a new principal, the month checklist are one of the most valuable pieces of information. It helps give direction and information about upcoming topics and deadlines.


Chris Ming, Middle School Principal/District Data and Assessment Coordinator, Marine City Middle School

How long have you worked in education?
This is my 13th year in education. I was a high school chemistry teacher for seven years and am now into my sixth year as an administrator.

How long have you been an administrator?
This is my first year as a Middle School Principal. My previous five years in administration I was a High School Assistant Principal/Athletic Director.

Give us a few personal details.
I have an incredibly supportive and understanding wife that has encouraged me to push myself and my passion for education. I also have three young children that keep me on my toes. My hobbies mostly revolve around my kids and sports...and often those two run together with my coaching my kids. I enjoy reading, learning, being outside, and being active.

What is most rewarding about your job?
That look in a kid's eyes when the light bulb turns on and they get truly energized by their learning.

Tell us about a program/initiative at your school that you are proud of.
I'm new to my school this year and we have a fantastic staff. My focus this year is the increase of communication with the parents and the community. To that end, I have created a school YouTube channel where I post videos of myself and screencasts to help explain what is going on at MCMS.

What advice would you have for those who are new to the Principalship?
Surround yourself with a network of people that motivate you and support you. The MASSP offers great opportunities to connect with other administrators with diverse backgrounds and experiences. The principalship can be a lonely place, but having a strong network of go-to people can go a long way toward being a successful school leader.

Tell us about a training or book you've read recently that you found to be beneficial.
I recently completed the Innovator's Mindset by George Couros. It is a wonderful book that challenges conventions of teaching and encourages new and better in the pursuit of what is best for students, an ideal that I believe in strongly.


Michelle Baker-Herring, Principal, Southgate Anderson High School

How long have you worked in education?
19 years

How long have you been an administrator?
14 years

Give us a few personal details.
I met my husband Ron when I was fourteen and 30 years later he is still my best friend and husband of 20 years. We are into cars, motorcycles, camping, and floating on our pontoon on Belleville Lake. I spend much of my free time with my nieces and nephews and running as my goal is to sign up for a full marathon in 2018.

Tell us about a program/initiative at your school that you are proud of.
We have completely re-designed how we provide services to our students with IEPs. While we still have our Cross-Categorical and Math and ELA Resource Room Programming, our Co-teaching model looks very different. We have four special education teachers, each one is assigned to a department, ELA, Math, and Science Social Studies. They work with the department to accommodate assessments and assignments as well as weekly monitoring of every student with an IEP that is in the department. Any student that has 70% or below has a conference with that department consultant, parent contact is made, and is then assigned to Mandatory Lunch Assistance (MLA) to make up missing assignments, do test corrections, or review for upcoming tests. The failure rates for students with IEPs have been reduced by half since the program began.

Tell us about a training or book you've read recently that you found to be beneficial.
I have been exploring, researching, and attending trainings on Restorative Practices. These practices align well to our work on school culture and climate. I attended the two-day presentation by The Black Family Development Organization at my ISD and have since had them present at our High School. We are making the shift from the traditional way of assigning consequences for bad behavior to a more relational approach of managing conflict and repairing harm to those involved.

What do you most value about your MASSP membership?
The abundance of resources! I have found every MASSP sponsored professional development opportunity extremely beneficial and the information is always presented so that I can take it and use it immediately with my staff and/or students.



Kevin Beazley, Principal and Athletic Director, Clinton High School

How long have you worked in education?
Total of 17 years thus far. 1 year teaching mathematics at Flint Central High School, 2 years teaching mathematics at Bendle Middle School, 7 years teaching mathematics, Assistant JV Football Coach, Head Varsity Wrestling Coach, Assistant Track Coach at Clinton High School, 2 years teaching mathematics, Head Varsity Wrestling Coach and Athletic Director at Clinton High School, 4 years as Principal at Clinton High School and beginning my 5th year as Principal, along with taking on the Athletic Director role.

How long have you been an administrator?
This will be the start of my 5th year as high school principal and building leader.

Give us a few personal details.
My wife Nicole and I have just celebrated our 20th year of marriage. We have 3 children, Adam who is 16, Garrett is 13 and Clare is 9. Adam is our miracle child born at 1 lb 5 oz and was 23 week gestational. Adam is visually impaired but that doesn't keep him from playing and listening to music. Garrett and Clare keep us very busy in all their sports, band and choir programs. We love to go camping and go to Lake Michigan in the summer. We have an all white Siberian Husky named Thunder.

What do you find most challenging about your job?
What I find most challenging about my job is that I wear several hats and I want to excellent at them all. I love to work with my team of teachers as they are truly are the best in the state of Michigan. Some days I am not able to work with my team because I am handling discipline, training new teachers, monitoring lunches, setting up for a game, checking transportation, attending meetings, or answering questions on curriculum/best practices.

What is most rewarding about your job?
The most rewarding part of my job is having a great staff. From my staff to my administration team, we get the job done. I have such a supportive board of education that allows me to add programs, try new initiatives and allows me to make changes to the school day for the betterment of the students. CHS continues to lead the county in test scores and we have been a top 4% and 5% performing high school. I love going into the classroom and observing all the classroom interactions, student engagement and 21st century teaching and learning.


Dave Feenstra, Principal, Hudsonville High School

How long have you worked in education?
30 years

How long have you been an administrator?
25 years

Give us a few personal details.
Dawn and I have been married for 29 years. We have two kids: Ellen is a NICU nurse at DeVos Children's Hospital and Daniel is a Senior at Northern Michigan University in Marquette. We enjoy traveling to National Parks. I love riding my black cherry Harley Davidson Street Glide around our beautiful State.

Tell us about a program/initiative at your school that you are proud of.
Our LINKS Program has changed the culture of our school and how we embrace and support students with special needs. We offer LINKS as a course each trimester. Currently we have over 60 students in our LINKS Program throughout our school.

LINKS (Peer-to-Peer Support) elective course/credit programs represent one model of 21st century instructional design that incorporates applied (experiential) learning in a non-traditional manner. Peer–to-Peer support (the evidence- and research-base common name) or peer-mediated learning is well documented as an evidence-based practice for pupils with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) (National Professional Development Center on Autism Spectrum Disorders, 2010; National Standards Project, 2010).

The general education student (LINK) enrolled in LINKS is a mentor, role model, and coach to a student with a special need or ability. In this role, the LINK is assigned a student for a minimum of one class period per day. The LINK peer will assist the student in such areas as appropriate classroom behavior, organization of assignments and materials, and reading social cues. The LINK attends biweekly case conferences to discuss the progress of their student, and contributes ideas on how to more effectively help the student progress toward his/her goals.

During a typical school week, the LINK is required to study online reading materials related to students with special needs and abilities and learn strategies for working with students.

This program has positively impacted our school far beyond our initial intentions. Our Special needs students are connected, respected, and loved by our student body. I am happy to share our LINKS program with anyone interested.

What advice would you have for those who are new to the Principalship?
As you know being a principal is more than just a job. It is a way of life for an individual that is challenging, physically and mentally, demanding, unending, irritating, frustrating, painful, consuming and overwhelming. It is also one of the most fulfilling and rewarding lifestyles a person can have.

This quote from Teddy Roosevelt really communicates what it takes as secondary principals to meet the educational challenges of the 21st Century.

"It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat."

The best assets available for your success as a principal are your colleagues in the field. You will have some difficult days in this profession and your peers will be the "game changers" for you in the most challenging times. Be intentional about meeting with area principals at least monthly and attend MASSP professional development to proactively lead your school. Acknowledging, admiring, and emulating the passion, innovation, and servant leadership of your colleagues in the principalship will guide you as you strive to address the needs of every student, every day.


Donovan Rowe, Principal, Huron High School

How long have you worked in education?
19 years

How long have you been an administrator?
9 years

Give us a few personal details.
I have a wonderful wife, Cathy, and four great children, ages 17, 15, 14, and 10.

What do you find most challenging about your job?
The job of a Learning Leader never ends. We are constantly learning new things and working to provide the best education for students, while the landscape continues to evolve. However, this very challenge helps to keep one sharp and proactive, rather than dull and reactive.

What is most rewarding about your job?
I think the most rewarding part about being is a principal is the impact that one can have on students, families, and the staff. I love to see the community grow together, and I get to see it happen in a new way every year.

Tell us about a program/initiative at your school that you are proud of.
The Link Crew program has had a great impact on Huron High School. We had a great team consisting of two teachers, a counselor, and the high school assistant principal, who work to train students to help make HHS a more inviting and welcoming place. The kids have done a great job to make people feel welcome.

What advice would you have for those who are new to the Principalship?
You don't have all the answers. Remember, the most successful people realize their challenges and rely on the people around them for support. If you are able to empower others and to set up supports to monitor their success, you will find that your school will thrive.

What is something you are working on or hoping to implement in the near future?
I would like to delve deeper into the realm of intervention. We have worked hard to provide students with highly effective classroom instruction and classroom interventions. The next step is to provide strong tiered intervention to assist students in a proactive way.

Tell us about a training or book you've read recently that you found to be beneficial.
I recently read Leading With Focus by Mike Schmoker. It was a great read. It really challenged me to simplify and to focus my attention on what matters. It has been a great addition to our department head and school improvement team discussions.


Carrie Balk, Principal, Three Rivers High School

How long have you worked in education?
15 years

How long have you been an administrator?
4 years

Give us a few personal details.
My husband, Bryan, and I have two children - Brayden (age 10) and Collin (age 8).

What do you find most challenging about your job?
With an ever increasing population of at-risk students in my building, I am faced with poverty and homelessness daily. My challenge - meeting the academic needs of students who have significant barriers to education.

What is most rewarding about your job?
Staff and students! This job is challenging, but I'm fortunate to work with an amazing group of educators and students who consistently demonstrate respect, responsibility and resilience.

What advice would you have for those who are new to the Principalship?
Sense of Humor - REQUIRED!

What is something you are working on or hoping to implement in the near future?
I'm interested in the Khan Academy Challenge.

Tell us about a training or book you've read recently that you found to be beneficial.
Having Difficult Conversations by Jennifer Abrams


Todd Simmons, Principal, Pewamo-Westphalia MS/HS

How long have you worked in education?
A total of 16 years = 3 years @ PW MS/HS as Industrial Ed. Teacher/JVFB Coach/VBBB Asst. Coach, 2 years @ Central Michigan Univ. as Asst. Mens' Basketball Coach, 2 years @ Tri County MS as Industrial Ed. Teacher/JVFB Coach/MSBBB Coach, and 9 years as PW MS/HS Principal (also served as AD for 5 years)

How long have you been an administrator?
This will be my 10th year in school leadership.

Give us a few personal details.
I am married to my beautiful wife of 7 years (Lindsey), and blessed w/ 3 children: Ronni (5), Braidi (2), and Ty (12 weeks). I love working w/ kids, exercising, playing hoops, and spending time w/ my Family (especially back home in da U.P.)

What do you most value about your MASSP membership?
The thing I value most about my MASSP membership is the professional learning/growth I have experienced through the organization - the PD and supports are unparalleled.

Tell us about a program/initiative at your school that you are proud of.
The program I am most proud of at Pewamo-Westphalia MS/HS is our PLANK peer mentoring program. It has had a significant impact on not only our culture, but moreover, our students' social/emotional/mental safety and mindset PLANK is student-created, student-owned, student-led, and student-focused.

What advice would you have for those who are new to the Principalship?
My advice for any individual that is new to school leadership would be to focus on your daily process rather than overall results by expecting an authentic champion process every day, the results will come as a by product.


Brian Morrison, Assistant Principal, Hamilton Middle School

How long have you worked in education?
16 total years in education: 15 years as a Business teacher at Hamilton High School and 1 year as Assistant Principal at Hamilton Middle School.

How long have you been an administrator?
This will be my second year as an Assistant Principal.

Give us a few personal details.
My wife, Kristen, and I live in the Hamilton community with our two sons Bryce (9) and Chase (7). I love bass fishing on the local lakes, and salmon fishing on Lake Michigan. Our family enjoys the outdoors and have started hammock camping for the last few years.

What do you most value about your MASSP membership?
Being new to school administration, I have a lot of things I need to learn quickly. My membership has given me great opportunities to learn more about my new role by providing legal updates, principal checklists throughout the year, access to the Path to Leadership program, and conferences such as EdCon. MASSP conferences have also connected me with some outstanding administrators from around the state who have been more than willing to share their knowledge with me. It has been a wonderful resource for me to grow as an administrator.

What is most rewarding about your job?
For many years I believed that becoming an administrator would also mean I would lose the relationship piece with students; something I loved the most about being in the classroom. I have found the opposite to be true. As assistant principal, I actually have better relationships with students who probably need it the most. I am able to work individually with these students, which is something I couldn't always do in a classroom setting.

Tell us about a training or book you've read recently that you found to be beneficial.
Last year, I read "Lost at School" by Dr. Ross Greene. This book gave me a new perspective on why students act out in school. I used to believe students do well in school if they chose to do well. I now have learned that some students haven't fully developed the necessary skills needed to be successful in a school setting. It's not actually a choice they are making. By changing my lens, I now feel I am better able to understand and help those students that struggle.