Cedar Springs — Bill Cataldo is the new middle-level principal for Cedar Springs Public Schools. This new position will oversee both CS Middle School (grades 7-8) and Red Hawk Intermediate School (grade 6) as the district shifts its approach to middle-level grades.
What previous positions have you held in Cedar Springs?
- Middle school instructional coach
- Eighth grade science teacher
- Middle school dean of students/athletic director
- Red Hawks Online K-8 principal
- Red Hawk Elementary interim principal
What do you enjoy most about working with the middle-level grades? “The people; hands down, it’s the people. Middle school has always felt like home to me — it’s the group that welcomed me to Cedar Springs, and now (with the new inclusion of sixth-graders under the district’s ‘middle level’ umbrella) I get to expand that family feeling to Red Hawk Intermediate as well. … It’s wonderful seeing the kids grow and change, and knowing that I’ll have those connections with them throughout the middle-level experience. And we have an amazing team at both schools; the whole staff has really become like family. I love seeing the older staff take the new teachers under their wing, and the new energy that the new teachers have is just infectious; our students see that and I’m so excited that they get to learn from everyone here.”
‘We have an amazing team at both schools; the whole staff has really become like family. I love seeing the older staff take the new teachers under their wing, and the new energy that the new teachers have is just infectious; our students see that and I’m so excited that they get to learn from everyone here.’– Bill Cataldo
What are you most excited about in your new position? “The possibilities. Coming off of the past couple years, I think everyone’s ready to bring things back and have school feel like less of the unknown. We get to go back to our roots, our school culture, and support students in their growth without having that be disrupted. … And our staff is hungry to learn and grow, look at test data and strategize what supports we have. It’s really exciting to roll up our sleeves again and see the positive energy from staff.”
With Cedar Springs reimagining grades 6-8 as a combined middle-level experience, what is your top goal as you lead that work? “I hate to give a corny answer, but I want to let the process drive us. What are we noticing? What unique opportunities do we have as students come in and reshape what we thought we would do? What can we bring together to streamline the process for (students)? My big thing is I want us to be united — I want to be sure we’re as seamless as possible for both our students and our staff. Between the two buildings, I want that to be a comfort zone for everybody.”