By Graham Sturgeon, staff writer
Durand Supt. Craig McCrumb announced during the June 8 Board of Education meeting that the district has decided to hire both Amy Holek and Paula Dobson for the upcoming 2015-2016 school year to serve as the principals of Robert Kerr Elementary and Durand Middle School, respectively.
Both teachers were promoted in 2015 after Lory Thayer (Robert Kerr) and Wes Johnson (Middle School) left their posts relatively abruptly this spring. Thayer left in April to take a position with the Shiawassee RESD, while the district and Johnson mutually agreed to part ways in March after Johnson experienced a health scare while on the job. The district had planned to list the positions this summer, but the encouraging job these two interim principals did over the last few months of the school year eliminated the need for a search. McCrumb is excited for the two and spoke about the support each received within their respective buildings and throughout the district.
“This is a great opportunity to keep this positive momentum going,” McCrumb said. “We have received great feedback for both Paula and Amy. They have great staff support in both buildings.”
Though losing two principals in one school year may be daunting enough, the district also saw two of their prized educators say goodbye after decades on the job. Both Sue Bentley and Diane Horn retired at the end of the 2014-2015 school year and their responsibilities will be absorbed by the remaining staff. The board members all had pleasant things to say about each retiring high school teacher, and it is clear that these women impacted many peoples’ lives during their time with DAS.
“Mrs. Bentley is the reason I became a nurse,” Trustee Blair Pancheck said during the meeting. “It will be sad to see her go. They were both part of the family.”
That sentiment is a familiar one, one which Durand Science teacher Rob Milton echoed. “Mrs. Bentley is the reason I became a science teacher,” Milton said during a daddy-daughter dance held at the Owosso skating rink in May. “She gave the district so much over her nearly 40 years. Sometimes you don’t know what you have until it is gone, but that is not the case here. She will surely be missed.”