We are pleased to announce some changes in building principals and welcome new individuals to leadership roles. These individuals are ready to help our families and students and build upon the strong educational culture that currently exists. Please help us welcome the following:
- Ada Elementary School: Mrs. Kimberly Van Antwerp will serve as principal for Ada Elementary. Mrs. Van Antwerp follows Mrs. Jo Ellen Anderson who retired as Ada’s principal after a career of dedicated and caring service to children and families. Mrs. Van Antwerp comes to this position with nearly two decades of experience as a classroom teacher, an early literacy specialist, and a teacher coach. She brings to this role a love for children and a consistent record of building strong relationships with colleagues and families. Most recently, Mrs. Van Antwerp served multiple districts in West Michigan as an early literacy coach through the Kent Intermediate School District (ISD).
- Orchard View Elementary School: Mrs. Amy Burton-Major will fill the principal position at Central Woodlands 5/6 School. With the move of Mrs. Burton-Major, the district hired Mr. Tim Fournier as the new principal for Orchard View. Mr. Fournier is a former FHPS teacher, and most recently a program director for Grand Rapids Public Schools. Mr. Fournier was a beloved teacher for many years in Forest Hills. For the past four years, Mr. Fournier helped to administer two programs in GRPS that involved supporting over 80 teachers in numerous schools throughout the region. Mr. Fournier has a strong record of deep dedication to students and families. He has over two decades of classroom teaching experience. He began his career in 1990 as a teacher in the United States Peace Corps. He also taught in the Detroit Public Schools and in two foreign countries prior to coming to West Michigan in 1998.
- Central Woodlands 5/6 School: Mrs. Amy Burton-Major is the new principal in this building and Dr. David Simpson is the new principal at Northern Hills Middle School. Mrs. Burton-Major has a wonderful record of achievement as a teacher and a principal, and in particular, at the upper-elementary level. She has served as the principal for Orchard View Elementary in Forest Hills for the past four years. She is excited to support teachers’ focus on interdisciplinary learning, deep thinking, and project-based learning. Mrs. Burton-Major is embarking on her 20th year as an educator. She’s been a fifth-grade teacher, a middle school language arts teacher, a performing arts teacher, an instructional coach, assistant principal, and school reform specialist. Prior to Forest Hills, she served as principal of Ealy Elementary School in Whitehall, Michigan.
- Northern Hills Middle School: Dr. David Simpson will serve as principal of Northern Hills Middle School and Mr. Joe Curcuru will serve as assistant principal. Dr. Simpson follows Mrs. Nancy Susterka who retired as NHMS principal at the end of June. Dr. Simpson served as principal at Central Woodlands 5/6 for four years. He brings with him not only a strong track record of success as a principal in Forest Hills, but he also brings valuable experience as a middle school principal and assistant principal. Prior to Forest Hills, he served as the interim principal and assistant principal for Royal Oak Middle School in Royal Oak, Michigan, and he began his administrative career as an assistant principal and athletic director at Derby Middle School in Birmingham, Michigan. Dr. Simpson obtained both his M.A. and Ph.D. in K-12 Educational Administration from Michigan State University.
- Central Middle School: Mr. Glenn Mitcham resigned from his principal position at CMS to take on a new role as central office administrator for East Lansing Public Schools. Mr. Charlie Vonk will now serve as the principal of Central Middle School. As a teacher and assistant principal for many years at CMS, Mr. Vonk possesses the experience, skills, and love for kids that makes him the ideal fit for this important position. Help us welcome and congratulate Mr. Jeff Simon who will replace Mr. Vonk as the assistant principal for CMS. Mr. Simon has been a middle school teacher, a teacher coach, a mathematics coach and specialist, and an acting administrator when administrators were out of the building. Mr. Simon comes to Forest Hills from New Berlin, Wisconsin. Mr. Simon has two Master’s degrees, one from University of Texas in curriculum and instruction, and the second from Concordia University-Wisconsin in educational administration.
- Forest Hills Eastern High School: Please help us welcome Mrs. Kristine Yelding as the new assistant principal at Eastern High School. She fills the vacancy created in December when Mr. Edgar Wilson retired as assistant principal. Mrs.Yelding comes to us from West Ottawa High School in Holland where she spent nine years as an English teacher and the last two years as an assistant principal at the high school. She and her family live in the Grand Rapids area. She is very invested in our community, in education, our students, and is excited to begin the new school year.