Caledonia — Whitney Mitchell Krusniak is the new supervisor of special education and early childhood programming at Duncan Lake Early Childhood Center. SNN gets to know her in this edition of Meet Your Administrators.
Other positions in education: Krusniak began her career as a teacher for students with autism spectrum disorders for Oakland Schools on the eastside of Michigan, where she was born and raised. After meeting her husband, the two moved to West Michigan where Krusniak worked as an educational consultant for students with ASD in Jenison Public Schools and later an autism and behavior specialist for the Ottawa Area ISD and Spring Lake Public Schools. “I also had the pandemic pleasure of working as a virtual kindergarten teacher for Grand Haven Area Public Schools.”
Jobs outside education: “I have almost always worked with children,” said Krusniak, who spent summers working as a camp counselor/canoeing instructor. She currently volunteers with nonprofit organization Remembrance Ranch, where she works with adolescent girls, ages 11-14, who are struggling with mental health or are considered at-risk.
Education/degrees: Krusniak received her bachelor’s degree in special education and group social sciences from Western Michigan University and a master’s degree in special education administration from Grand Valley State University. She is also working to complete her PhD in educational leadership from Eastern Michigan University.
Family: Krusniak and her husband, Eric, are preparing to celebrate their 16th wedding anniversary. Eric is a sixth grade science teacher in Byron Center and they have two children, Maverick, 13, and Rory, 11.
“We are navigating middle school as a household and between all the kids, we spend a lot of time on the soccer field, basketball court, and gymnastics facility.”
Hobbies/Interests: When she’s not working with students or juggling her own kids’ activities, Krusniak is an “avid baker,” and has her own side hustle making natural peanut butter.
Over the past few years, she has started hiking and is “enjoying discovering Michigan’s natural wonders” and “learning to be comfortable with the whole ‘no shower, wear the same clothes over and over again’ thing.”
The biggest lesson you have learned from students is…
“One strong, consistent, loving and willing person can have a lifelong impact. Model what you teach!”
If I could go back to school…
“I would be happy to return to any grade, except possibly middle school, because braces and glasses aren’t great for anyone. I love school and consider myself a forever student.”