The Forest Hills Public Schools Board of Education has launched a search for a new school superintendent following the announcement of retirement by current FHPS Superintendent Dan Behm. This dedicated page on our website will contain all news, information, resources, announcements, timelines, and more as information becomes available throughout the process.
Celebrating a career of 17 years as superintendent of Forest Hills Public Schools (FHPS) and more than three decades of service to Michigan public schools, Superintendent Daniel Behm announced this week that he will retire during the summer of 2023. Following a decision to postpone his 2021 planned retirement due to the global pandemic, Behm expressed his deep appreciation to the Board of Education, staff members, families, students and the entire Forest Hills community.
“Serving alongside the incredible teachers and staff members of this school district for the past 17 years has been the highlight of my career,” said FHPS Superintendent Daniel Behm. “I am grateful for the incredible support of our community and the selfless dedication of everyone who works daily for the success of kids.” During a time of massive turnover in school leadership across the nation, Behm holds the distinction of the longest-serving superintendent in West Michigan. His 22 years of service as a superintendent counts him as one of Michigan’s most experienced superintendents. His superintendent peers unanimously elected him as the president of the Kent County Superintendents’ Association this past fall, the first year of the organization’s existence.
Dr. Kristen Fauson, president of the FHPS board of education said, “We are grateful for Mr. Behm’s dedicated service to our students, staff members, and community. His North Star is to always do what is best for students and this has been his guide throughout thousands of decisions—some easy and some complex—over his 17 years in Forest Hills. He has poured his heart and soul into our school district and we are forever thankful for his leadership. As always, he has our full support and we wish him well in his retirement.”
Behm noted the importance of the district’s guiding principles and how they serve as the enduring values of FHPS. Learning, caring, and collaboration are three of the principles that Behm highlighted during his announcement to the board and staff. “The collaboration of thousands of caring educators and the generosity of our supportive families and community over the years form a winning combination for kids,” Behm said. “This selfless team knows no bounds when it comes to helping our youth learn, grow, and thrive. The strength of Forest Hills can be found in the hearts of its people.”
Behm thanked the staff and community members who, under his tenure, helped pass three bond elections, launched a K-12 Mandarin Chinese immersion program, installed numerous project- and problem-based learning experiences, increased the graduation rate to the highest level in the district’s history, increased the percentage of high school students enrolled in Advanced Placement courses, and navigated a global pandemic with the highest amount of in-person learning among Michigan’s largest school districts.
The board of education will move forward with a full superintendent search process throughout the coming weeks and months. President Fauson said, “The board values the input of our community and staff members. Selecting a superintendent is one of the most important duties of the board and we want to listen to and engage our stakeholders during this process. We will establish a timeline outlining all of the important steps in this process and share it with our community this spring.
Contemplating the upcoming transition, Superintendent Behm reminded his administrative team what he has often said, “We are all temporary stewards in this privileged work. Passing along the knowledge and skills of the millennia and combining this with the incalculable potential of youth represent the future of our nation. Our schools and our country have a bright future in the hands of our incredible students.”
Behm and his family will continue to cheer on the Hawks, Huskies, and Rangers of Forest Hills as proud parents of their two daughters and grateful members of the community. Behm concluded, “I will always be a cheerleader for Forest Hills, public education, and the legions of young people who will build a better world!”