Cedar Springs — Ron Behrenwald, a familiar face in Cedar Springs, is taking on a new role this year: director of post-secondary success. This position is new to the district and will focus on preparing students for a fulfilling, meaningful career and life after graduating high school.
What previous positions have you held in Cedar Springs? Behrenwald came to the district in 2007 and was principal at Cedar Springs High School for the past 15 years. Before that, he spent nine years in school administration at Marshall Public Schools.
“My first graduating class as a high school principal was the class of 2000, and my last was the class of 2022,” he said. “I was privileged to sign and award over 4,000 high school diplomas in my career.”
‘We want every student to walk across our graduation stage with a diploma in one hand and a solid, meaningful post-secondary plan in the other hand.’– Ron Behrenwald
How will this change your approach to students and the work you do? Behrenwald said the work in his new role will potentially touch all grade levels at CSPS, since career/college/life readiness is part of every grade level’s curriculum and included in school improvement plans via state mandate.
“I will primarily focus the bulk of my time and energies on developing a comprehensive curriculum/plan for middle and high school students,” he said, “where they will not only be exposed to careers, but begin developing an idea of what their skills, talents, aptitudes and passions equate to in a career field. They will develop an Educational Development Plan (EDP) beginning in seventh grade, which will help them in selecting future coursework, work-related experiences, industry-recognized credentials, extracurricular activities, entrepreneurship opportunities and community service.
“We want every student to walk across our graduation stage with a diploma in one hand and a solid, meaningful post-secondary plan in the other hand.”
What are you most excited about in your new position? “Making a difference in students’ lives after high school, (and) to help students see the potential and value they have in working within a career of their choice, which might not have seemed possible without the support and opportunities afforded by our local business and industry leaders and the commitment from the CSPS educational community.
“I want to see students stretch their thinking and self-confidence to achieve their life’s passion. Everyone needs to do something today that their future self will thank them for doing.”