Brody Clarke ‘23, Intro to Journalism Contributing Writer
The South Lyon Board of Education recently approved the hiring of a temporary superintendent to fill the upcoming positional void.
Last week, George Heitsch was officially named to the interim position after a committee vote.
The hiring comes in light of current superintendent Melissa Baker’s upcoming resignation. She announced her resignation in October by community email for what she claimed to be a personal search for better leadership opportunities.
The interim position is expected to last roughly a semester, starting Jan.1 with the permanent position expected to be filled by early July.
Heitsch comes with a large resume, including 43 years of educational experience. Retiring from the role of Farmington Hills superintendent of five years last June, he brings recent and local superintendent experience. As well as this, he spent eight years as an Avondale Public Schools superintendent, and 12 years as a West Bloomfield Hills principal and vice principal.
As Heitsch prepares to take over, community members hope his Michigan State and Wayne State University education can influence critical decisions in his time of leadership. They also hope his local roots and appreciation play a part in making critical choices.
Heitsch was also a teacher for nine years and an athletic director for three. He often states his passion for kids in interviews.
Community member Katie Schulz, who has three students enrolled in South Lyon Community Schools and is a South Lyon High School swim board member said, “I’m not worried in the slightest. Having someone with a feel for our local community definitely makes me feel better about the whole situation.” Community support is wide as seemingly no disapproval has been voiced.
South Lyon student council member sophomore Sydney Schulz said, “I think that this will be a really cool opportunity for our district. Even if he is only temporary, introducing someone with past experience in our area can possibly bring great ideas into our leadership.” The unique situation has left a rare opportunity knocking at the door for South Lyon Community Schools.
Heitsch will be the only superintendent other than Baker that the community has seen in roughy five years.
Board president Randy Clark said, “We want to get this right for the community” in a public announcement concerning the upcoming change in leadership. Hiring Heitsch was the first step in this process.
Heitsch reached out to get the position in what was a long and complex process. He and seven other individuals were interviewed and the board unanimously voted in favor of Heitsch.
Photo courtesy of Bill Bresler