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Former Bay City Educators Doing Well in Other School Settings

Bay City Supt. Carolyn Wierda Given Huge Sendoff by District Admirers

May 23, 2009       1 Comments
By: Dave Rogers

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L/R Dale Martin, Carolyn Wierda, Joe Gonzales

As the Bay City School District says goodbye to Superintendent Carolyn Wierda and ponders its future leadership, talk turns to the location and career paths of former local educators.

Mrs. Wierda was given a huge sendoff celebration by hundreds of community residents last Thursday evening at the DoubleTree Hotel - Bay City Riverfront.

While Supt. Wierda will be close by, as administrator in residence at Saginaw Valley State University, other former well known educators have spread their wings to far off spots.

Dr. Joe Gonzales, former Bay City Public Schools superintendent, is now principal of a charter alternative school in Austin, Texas, called Austin Can! The school is affiliated with TEXANS CAN! a non profit organization headed by Richard Marquez with branches in Dallas, San Antonio, Houston and plans to expand nationwide. Dr. Gonzales previously was superintendent of the McAllen and San Angelo districts in Texas.

Here in Michigan, a former Bangor Township superintendent now may soon have two districts to run. The Grand Rapids Press reported that Godwin Heights school board is seeking agreement with nearby Wyoming Public Schools to share its superintendent, Jon Felske.

Felske, 47, a former Pinconning administrator, has been superintendent at Wyoming for seven years.

Wyoming Board Member Mary Vande Water described Felske as "a phenomenal leader who enjoys a new challenge" and said she has no doubt he has the ability and energy to run two school districts.

Wyoming and Godwin already share a business manager, a transportation director and technology services, the Press reported.

Felske told the news media he has a plan for the districts to share low-enrollment classes to save money and offer more opportunities to students.

Meanwhile, Coldwater (MI) Community School Superintendent Dr. Dale Martin, another former Bay City district leader, has had his contract extended another year, to 2012.

Dr. Martin won high praise from school trustees at a recent meeting, the Coldwater newspaper reported.

"We got what we thought we were getting," trustee Ronald Smith said about Martin after his evaluation by the Coldwater Board of Education. The board, in its evaluation report, found his performance to be "commendable" and especially cited Martin's enthusiasm for education and students in Coldwater.

Dr. Martin, after leaving Bay City in the mid-1980s, served as superintendent in Waterford, Wilmington, North Carolina and Downers Grove, Illinois.

Recently, the Houghton-Portage Township Board of Education in the Upper Peninsula hired former Bangor Township superintendent Carl Hartman as a consultant to help the district save money.

Hartman has been in charge of superintendent placement for the Michigan Association of School Boards (MASB) for many years since leaving the Bangor Township district in Bay County.


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Geraldine42 Says:       On May 26, 2009 at 10:37 AM
Dave, is going from Superintendant to Principal of a Charter school some kind of PROMOTION?
Agree? or Disagree?

Dave Rogers

Dave Rogers is a former editorial writer for the Bay City Times and a widely read,
respected journalist/writer in and around Bay City.
(Contact Dave Via Email at

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