NEW MORRICE AREA SCHOOLS Superintendent Rob Pouch is pleased to represent the Orioles.

(Independent Photo/Karen Mead-Elford)

 

   New Morrice Area Schools Superintendent Rob Pouch, selected by the board of education in July, is pleased to have considerable support from both the community and the board heading into the 2021/2022 school year. Pouch was hired following Superintendent Michelle Falcon’s resignation submission in May. Since 2016, the board has conducted four superintendent searches. Falcon had hired on last December to be a part-time, interim superintendent, following Michael Dewey who had retired.

   Pouch recognizes that Morrice Area Schools has seen a lot of recent transitions. “There is no hiding it,” he offered. “Morrice has been plagued with some turnover in this position.” He explained he believes the recent turnovers have somewhat been brought on because of the challenges of dual-roll positions and limits placed on working in a part-time position. As for himself, he shared he already feels he is invested in the new job and the community.

   “Morrice has now made a commitment to a fulltime superintendent and that is a huge investment for this district,” said Pouch. He elaborated on the “very positive restructuring” the district recently implemented, also hiring a school improvement facilitator and a student success coordinator. Pouch said the district now has a team including Daniel Nolen (K-12 principal) – recently of Swartz Creek Schools, MaryJo Wegenke (school improvement facilitator) and Beth Skene (student success coordinator). Pouch shared the district is lucky to have built this new team so rapidly and pleased the group offers a “great deal of experience.”

   In discussing his own background, Pouch shared he was born and raised in western Michigan, growing up in the Fruitport/Grand Haven area. He attended Grand Valley State and obtained his first teaching opportunity at Peck High School, located in the thumb area. He had previously never been to Peck, but felt he was fortunate to find a Michigan teaching job during that time. He fell in love with the area, teaching there for four years and also working as the head football coach. Over time, he felt compelled to return to his home area to be nearer to his grandparents, sharing they were like a second set of parents to him. From Peck, he found another position in Freemont, teaching there for five years, but eventually deciding he wanted to seek an administrative position. He landed in Linden, working as the elementary/middle school principal. In Linden, he planted his roots, marrying and growing a family. He and his wife, a professional portrait photographer, now have four children and remain living in Linden, just a 25-minute commute from Morrice.

   It was in waiting for his fourth child to be born that he found himself casually perusing job listings while he waited for his wife in delivery. He was not looking for a new position at the time, but knew eventually he wanted to become a superintendent. It was at this point he discovered Morrice was hiring.

   “I wasn’t actively seeking. It just happened to all work out,” Pouch said. “Everything happens for a reason.”

   About Morrice, Pouch stated, “Community support here is amazing. Our staff is working relentlessly to make sure our kids are prepared. We want to prepare our kids to be college, career and world ready. Typical of many small towns, the schools are the hub of the community and they’ve really been behind us to support us.”

   Morrice Area Schools includes just under 500 students, with 51 kindergartners enrolled for this year. Enrollment is up.

   Morrice does have some substitute staffing and busing positions open at this time – and is particularly interested in recruiting bus drivers. The district has five bus routes and four bus drivers and one substitute driver. Interested drivers should call Morrice Area Schools for further information.

New Morrice Superintendent Brings Positivity to District was last modified: September 7th, 2021 by Karen Elford