New District Chief Values Community, Diversity
Grand Haven Principal Expected to Begin July 1by Erin Albanese
The Board of Education has selected Kevin Polston, principal of Lakeshore Middle School, in Grand Haven Public Schools, as its new superintendent.
The board plans to negotiate a contract with Polston, with his first day on the job expected July 1.
"I'm really excited and grateful," said Polston, 39. "When I looked at Godfrey-Lee the thing that jumped out was the culture and commitment to supporting families."
Polston has served as Lakeshore Middle School principal since 2011 and as assistant principal there for two years before that. He received his bachelor's degree in interdisciplinary studies – human resources and secondary social studies education at Michigan State University, and his master's in educational leadership from Grand Valley State University. He has also worked as a curriculum specialist and social studies teacher in Grand Haven Public Schools.
"Godfrey-Lee schools really serve the community and that's been a central focus of my philosophy in education," he said of the small, majority Hispanic district in Wyoming.
Polston will replace nine-year Superintendent David Britten, who will step down June 30.
"Kevin Polston brings a lot of really good experience in the kind of work he's been doing," said Board of Education President Eric Mockerman. "He expressed excitement about the initiatives we've been doing in the district."
Polston, whose mother was an immigrant from Palestine, said he has always embraced diversity in education.
"A passion of mine has been working with our staff on climate and diversity and being an advocate for persons of color," he said.
He is the second educator selected for the position. In March, Carlos Lopez, director of curriculum, instruction and assessment in Plymouth-Canton Community Schools, in Plymouth, declined an offer for the job.
Polston was selected from a second pool including three other finalists:
- Scott Riley, superintendent of Camden-Frontier Schools, in Camden;
- Coby Fletcher, principal at East Lansing High School;
- Michael Pascoe, principal of City High/Middle School and Center for Economicology in Grand Rapids Public Schools. Pascoe was also interviewed as one of two final candidates.