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New Wyoming Principal Inspired By Children’s Perspectives, Humor


Name: David Lyon

School: Wyoming Public Schools Gladiola Elementary School

What will be your first priorities as principal be?
My first priorities have been to establish connections and build relationships with teachers, support staff and administration. In addition, I have been gathering information on systems, curriculum, communications, and student data. Also, I have been working with the School Improvement Team to begin building schedules that support professional interactions and conversations, which support student instruction and growth.

What are you most looking forward to as principal here?
I am looking forward to building a school culture of high expectations, conversation-rich classrooms, and technology integration that moves engagement and performance to a more authentic state.

What and where was your previous job?
My previous job was as a classroom teacher for West Ottawa Public Schools for 22 years.

New Principal David Lyon says ‘juggling’ is a skill he will be using all year
New Principal David Lyon says ‘juggling’ is a skill he will be using all year

What are your hobbies and interests?
Restoring/rehabbing/remodeling homes. I also love kayaking, strength training, technology, reading, writing and supporting theater in Grand Rapids.

What inspires you?
I am inspired by the possibility that education is moving past old paradigms and structures in this technological age. I am inspired by the arts. I am inspired by the unique thinking of others.

What makes you laugh?
Children make me laugh all day long. The innocence and curiosity that is their lens is grounding and entertaining. I am also a huge fan of humor and real people who don’t take life too seriously.

What would people be surprised to learn about you?
That I can ride a unicycle maybe? Juggle as well. But, at the same time…I haven’t tried.

Tell us about a non-professional book you recommend and why:
I would highly recommend the book Wonderstruck by Brian Selznick. It is set in New York in the 20s and 70s, and it follows two distinct story lines about a deaf girl and a boy who has run away from home after being struck by lightning. The deaf girl’s story is told in detailed pencil drawings and the boy’s in text. The story is woven in a subtle and clever way until, of course, their lives intersect whereby the story begins drawing and text. It is best read over and over again. Brian Selznick also wrote the Invention of Hugo Cabret, another masterpiece and Caldecott Winner.

What college degrees did you earn?
I have an undergraduate in elementary education with a social studies minor from Hope College and a master’s in educational leadership from Grand Valley State University

Spouse and children?
I have two daughters. The oldest, Deven, finished her masters at the University of Southern California in Urban Education Policy and begins her year soon in working at a public school in Los Angeles; and the youngest, Lauren, is interning in a public school in Denver, Colo., as a school psychologist after finishing her education at University of Denver.

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Erin Albanese
Erin Albanese
Erin Albanese is associate managing editor and reporter, covering Byron Center, Kentwood, Wyoming and Grand Rapids Community College. She was one of the original SNN staff writers, helping launch the site in 2013 and enjoys fulfilling the mission of sharing the stories of public education. She has worked as a journalist in the Grand Rapids area since 2000. A graduate of Central Michigan University, she has written for The Grand Rapids Press, Advance Newspapers, On-the-Town Magazine and Group Tour Media. Read Erin's full bio

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