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Family man with a mega-resume settles in as principal


Brian Balding is the new Cedar Springs Middle School principal. SNN gets to know him in this edition of Meet Your Principal.

Other positions you have held in education: Athletic Director, Assistant Principal, Middle School Principal-Thornapple Kellogg Schools; Math/History Teacher, Football and Wrestling Coach-Shelby High School; Pinconning Middle School

How about jobs outside education: Many, including Pizza Hut, Rite Aide, Maurices Men’s, Forsberg Flowers, Super One Foods, Oceana Golf Club, YMCA Tennis Camps, and a bunch I’m probably forgetting

Brian Balding is the new middle school principal at Cedar Springs

Education and degrees: Bachelor of Arts-Alma College; Masters of Educational Leadership-Grand Valley State University

Spouse/children:  Wife, Liz Cotter, Director of People, Organization, and Accreditation at Northview Schools; daughters: Eleanor, 8, and Abby, 5

Hobbies/Interests: Golf, Skiing

What kind of kid were you at the age of students at this new school? Very active, not always the best student. (My middle school principal loves the fact that I am in this position; he said that I must really understand the kids that need behavioral help 🙂 )

The biggest lesson you have learned from students is…Kids are resilient. I’ve had students who live in very difficult situations amaze me with their strength and it has taught me that you can make it through anything.

Finish this sentence: If I could go back to school I would go to… elementary school. Those were the days.

If you walked into your new school building to theme music every day, what would the song be? “Man in the Mirror”- Michael Jackson

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Janice Holst
Janice Holst
Janice Holst is a reporter covering Kent City and Sparta. She has been both a teacher and a journalist. A former MLive reporter, she wrote features and covered local government and schools for Advance Newspapers for nearly two decades. She also was a recipe columnist and wrote features for Mature Life Style and occasional entertainment pieces for On The Town magazines. She lives in Sparta Township and enjoys spending some of her retirement hours writing the stories of the northern Kent County school districts. Read Janice's full bio or email Janice.

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