When you empower students, ‘they will amaze you’

Meet your administrator: Joe Lienesch

Joe Lienesch with his wife Lilly and kids Haden and Ellery

Name: Joe Lienesch 
School: Caledonia High School

Other positions you have held in education:

  • Assistant principal at Caledonia High School 
  • Interim special education director and early childhood center principal 
  • Special education teacher and teacher consultant

Education/degrees: Master of Education in Special Education Administration​, and bachelor of science in  psychology and special education​, both from Grand Valley State University, plus several certifications in special education and administration

Family: My wife Lilly is a special education teacher a Thornapple Kellogg Schools. My kids, Haden and Ellery, are the fourth generation in our family to attend Caledonia Community Schools.

Hobbies/interests:

  • Spending quality time with my family 
  • Watching my kids participate in sports and engage in school activities 
  • Supporting our students through attending CHS student activities and events 
  • Watching or attending any Michigan State athletic events with my family and friends 
  • Fishing 
  • Reading books or listening to podcasts relating to leadership, education or psychology 
Joe Lienesch is the new principal at Caledonia High School after serving as assistant principal

What kind of kid were you at the age of students at this school? I always have felt fortunate that I had a great high school experience at Mona Shores High School in Muskegon. The opportunities that I had in high school, lessons learned there, participating in three sports and in as many school-related activities as I could, helped prepare me for adulthood and life after high school. 

The biggest lesson you have learned from students is… When you work with students to set their own high expectations through making personal connections, empower them to improve and support their efforts, they will amaze you with what they can accomplish!

Finish this sentence: If I could go back to school I would go to grade? I would return to 12th grade. High schools are such exciting school communities to engage in, and the culminating experience of being a high school senior was both challenging and fun.

If you walked into your new school building to theme music, what would that be? Count Them All by Jj Weeks Band

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Hannah Lentz
A 2017 graduate of Grand Valley State University and a lifelong teacher’s kid, Hannah Lentz has worked as a journalist in and outside the Grand Rapids area for more than five years. After serving as editor-in-chief at the GVSU student newspaper, Hannah interned at the Leelanau Enterprise where she learned a lot about community journalism. In addition to her work for School News Network, Hannah has worked as a freelance blogger in the furniture industry, focusing on design trends, and as a social media manager for World Medical Relief in Detroit. Read Hannah's full bio or email Hannah.

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