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Forest Hills superintendent announces retirement

Long-time leader grateful to serve with those who help kids “find and follow their dreams”

Forest Hills — Superintendent Dan Behm will retire this summer after 17 years at the helm and a total of 30 years working in Michigan public education.

In a letter to Forest Hills families on Thursday, the self-described district cheerleader extended his thanks to the community for their “support, generosity, ingenuity, and partnership” in helping students “find and follow their dreams.”

Dan Behm

“What makes Forest Hills Public Schools a great place for kids is the heart that the adults in our community have for our youth — the next generation,” he wrote. 

Behm’s original intent was to retire in 2021; he said he stayed on to provide continuity during the uncertain early-pandemic times but now wants to be more present for his family. 

Describing the job as “intense,” Behm said, “the energy it takes to do it well is a standard that I hold as a solemn commitment. … It has been the honor and privilege of my career to do this work.”

Behm also praised the Forest Hills Board of Education for their support. Board members will begin the process to choose the next superintendent in coming weeks.

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Carol Lautenbach
Carol Lautenbach
Carol Jasperse Lautenbach served in many roles during her 29 years in Godfrey-Lee Public Schools, most recently as assistant superintendent for teaching and learning design, a role she retired from in 2021. She is co-author of “Making Schools Work: Bringing the science of learning to joyful classroom practice” and has written for The Alan Review, The Rapidian, and Midwest Living. She was honored to be appointed to Governor Gretchen Whitmer's 2021 Student Recovery Advisory Council’s Innovation and Redesign subcommittee. Carol is inspired by the students, educators, families, community partners, cultural institutions, and philanthropists who work together to design and build joyful, equitable learning communities.


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