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Williamston Community Schools Administration

This article was last updated on: February 25th of 2021

Image at the top of the screen.

The logo of Williamston Community Schools.

"I think Adam is the person who will take the district forward, he’s an exceptional educator who will do a great job."

- Former WCS Superintendent Narda Murphy on the appointment of Dr. Adam Spina, 03/23/17.

Lore

The administration of Williamston Community Schools is constantly changing. Simply known as "the adminstration" by the students of the district, this article describes all known past and present figures in upper administration and board of education. Sadly, this is not a complete and conclusive list, but if you have any information we lack, please reach out to us. There have been a couple significant events in recent times, such as the 2018 recall election of several school board members and departure of many middle school principals, which has shaken up the administration. Explorer principal Mrs. Kelly Campbell has been promoted to Deputy Superintendent recently as well. The WCS school board has seven members with six year terms.

Dr. Emmett Lippe was the longest serving superintendent, who may have served as much as 16 years. Mr. B Vauck was the longest serving WHS Principal with a total of 12 years (1957 - 1969). Mr. Michael Freeman was vice/assistant principal at Williamston High School for the longest, employed for 16 years (2003 - 2019).


Superintendents of WCS

Adam Spina (2017 - Present)

Dr. Spina is the current superintendent of Williamston Community Schools. Prior to this position, he served as a teacher and principal of one of the Elementary schools. He may have also been a curriculum director as well. Prior to that, he served in the military, and still remains on the national gaurd reserve to this day. During his time as superintendent, he has guided the school through the pandemic and pushed for a STEAM initative. The schoolwide policies "BeNice", "Ok2Say", and "Run Hide Fight" were also added under his reign.

Mrs. Narda Murphy (2010 - 2017)

Mrs. Murphy was the superintendent of WCS for seven years. Before this, she was the curriculum director for 14 years. She retired at the end of the 2016 - 2017 school year. While superintendent, she guided the district through the recession, and the Sinking Fund was established in 2014. She voted for Sarah Belanger, Nancy Deal, Christopher Lewis, and Greg Talberg in the 2018 recall election, who were all targetted for recall.

Joel Raddatz (2005 - 2006)

Mr. Raddatz was superintendent of WCS for at least one year.

Dr. Gerald Stinnett (1994 - 2004)

Dr. Stinnett was from Oregon, and became WCS superintendent in 1995 after Mr. Smyth. Dr. Stinnett was the superintendent for 10 years.

Mr. Steve Smyth (1992 - 1994)

Mr. Smyth replaced Dr. Lippe, and was only superintendent of WCS for 2 years.

Dr. Emmett Lippe (1985 - 1992)

Dr. Lippe presumably replaced Mr. Hendrickson at some point. He is the first recorded superintendent of WCS with a doctorate. Dr. Lippe was superintendent for 7-16 years.

Mr. T. Richard Hendrickson (1972 - 1976)

Mr. Hendrickson became superintendent in the summer of 1972, replacing Mr. Gable. He was superintendent for at least 4 years.

Mr. Fred Gable (1968 - 1972)

Mr. Gable was the superintendent of WCS for 4 years.

Mr. Robert E. Fitch (1963 - 1968)

Mr. Fitch was the superintendent of WCS for 5 years.

Mr. W.G. Bockstahler (1952 - 1963)

Bockstahler was the superintendent of Williamston Community Schools for 11 years, according to archived high school yearbooks. This is the oldest recorded superintendent that we know of.


WCS School Board Members

Current Members

Mrs. Nancy Deal (2015 - Present)

Mrs. Deal is the current president of the WCS Board of Education. She has been in office since January 1st of 2015, and her six year term is set to expire on December 31st of 2026. She was subjected to recall during the 2018 recall movement, but won the election as the incumbent with 57.1% of the vote.

Mrs. Sarah Belanger (2017 - Present)

Mrs. Belanger is the current vice president of the WCS Board of Education. She has been in office since January 1st of 2017. Her term is set to expire on December 31st of 2022. She was also subjected to recall during 2018, and won the election as the incumbent during 54.8%.

Ms. Amanda Hathaway Frattarelli (2021 - Present)

Ms. Amanda Hathaway Frattarelli was elected on January 1st of 2021, and her term is set to expire on December 31st of 2026. She is the board secretary.

Dr. Christopher Lewis (2015 - 2015, 2017 - Present)

Dr. Lewis is the board treasurer, and was elected on January 1st of 2017. His term is set to expire on December 31st of 2022. He previously served on the schoolboard from January 1st of 2015 to September 4th of 2015. He stars in the Hornet Hive Podcast with Dr. Adam Spina, a podcast meant to inform WCS parents about what's going on in the district. Chris Lewis may also have some sort of connection with Fox47 news, a local news outlet. He regularly interviews Williamston staff on there, and may be the reason why WCS is able to occasionally work with fox to produce short segments about the school district. He was one of the four board members subjected to recall during the 2018 recall election, but he won the election with 52.6% of the vote as an incumbent.

Mr. Jeffrey S. West (2013 - Present)

Mr. West was initally appointed on July 22nd of 2013, but was elected on January 1st of 2019. His term expires on December 31st of 2024.

Mrs. Julie Conley (2019 - Present)

Mrs. Conley was elected on January 1st of 2019, and her term ends on December 31st of 2024.

Mr. David Indish (2021 - Present)

Mr. Indish was elected on January 1st of 2021, with a term that expires on December 31st of 2026. He presumably filled the slot left behind by Karen Potter's resignation.

Former Members

Karen Potter (2018 - 2019)

Karen Potter was elected in November of 2018 thanks to the recall election, in which she defeated incumbent Greg Talberg by a margin of 50.2% to 49.1%. However, in 2019, evidence of campaign finance violations emerged. An investigation occured, which we do not know the results of. She resigned from her seat on October 31st of 2019.

Mr. Greg Talberg (2015 - 2018)

Nr. Talberg was a member of the school board from January 1st of 2015 to November of 2018. He was president of the board from January 2017 until his recall in 2018. During 2018, hje was subjected to a recall election along with three other board members at the time. Unfortunately, he was the only member to lose this election. His seat was taken over by Karen Potter, although she did not assume the title of Board President. He is currently a social studies teacher at Howell Public Schools.


Williamston High School

Principals

Dr. Steven Delp (2018 - Present)

Dr. Delp is the current principal of Williamston High School. He became principal on July 1st of 2018. He was previously the vice principal of Okemos High School for six years. He had also taught English for 11 years at another school district.

Dr. Jeffrey Thoenes (2010 - 2018)

Dr. Thones was the principal of Williamston High School for eight years. Before his job in Williamston, had had a long history of other principal positions. He was the high school principal at Mt. Pleasant Public Schools from 2005 - 2010, and the middle school assistant principal at Bridgeport-Spaulding Community Schools from 2002 - 2005. He was a middle school principal in Ohio from 1998 - 2002. He departed from Williamston Community Schools in 2018 and to become superintendent at Comstock Public Schools.

Mr. Randal Bowles (2005 - 2007)

Returned to his principal position that was filled by Mr. Rugh for a time. We do not know why he was gone for several years.

Mr. Christopher Rugh (2001 - 2005)

Replaced Mr. Bowles temporarly for four years. Formerly served as high school assistant principal.

Mr. Randal Bowles (1994 - 2001)

Promoted to principal after Mr. Sturlock's departure. May have been the vice principal in 1993 after Mr. Lutzke's departure. He was high school principal for 7 years.

Mr. Sturock (1988 - 1994)

Mr. Sturock was the principal of Williamston High School for 6-9 years. He was replaced by Mr. Bowles. He resigned from his principal positon to accept a superintendent position at another school district.

Mr. Mason (1985 - 1985)

Mr. Mason was principal of WHS since at least 1985, and presumably replaced Mr. Hoag at some point. He was principal for at least one year, but was gone by 1988.

Mr. Rutgar Hoag (1969 - 1976)

Mr. Hoag was principal of WHS for at least 7 years. He was praised often by the students that wrote the yearbooks in the 70s. Mr. Hoag was previously principal at another school district for two years. He replaced Mr. Vauck.

B. Vauck (1957 - 1969)

Mr. Vauck was principal of Williamston High School for 12 years.

Mr. Kuney (1955 - 1956)

Mr. Kuney became principal of Williamston High School sometime between 1953 and 1955. He was no longer principal in 1957.

H.D. Hendricks (1952 - 1955)

Mr. Hendricks is the oldest recorded principal of Williamston High School that we know of, thanks to yearbook records. He was principal from at least 1952. He also taught Physics in addition to his principal job. His time as principal ended sometime between 1953 and 1955.

Assistant Principals

Mr. Chris Armour (2020 - Present)

Mr. Armour became assistant principal at WHS after Mrs. LaFleur's promotion in 2020. He was serving as acting vice principal during a few months of early 2020. Before this job, Mr. Armour was a science and math teacher at Williamston High School from 2014 - 2020. Before that, he was a middle school math/science teacher at WMS from 2010-2014.

Mrs. Debra LaFleur (2019 - 2020)

Mrs. LaFleur was appointed assistant principal in 2019 after Mr. Freeman's retirement at the end of the 2018-2019 school year. Before this, she was a middle school language arts teacher at WCS since 1995. During the summer of 2020, she was promoted to principal of Williamston Middle School after only one year as vice principal.

Mr. Mike Freeman (2003 - 2019)

Mr. Freeman was the assistant principal of Williamston High School for an impressive 16 years. He is rumored to have attended police training at some point before his job at WCS. He retired in 2019 at the age of 57 years old.

Mr. Brian DeRath (2002 - 2003)

Filled in the vice principal position after Mr. Rugh was promoted in 2002 for 1 year.

Mr. Christopher Rugh (1999 - 2001)

Served as assistant principal for 2 years. Promoted to full principal in 2002.

Mr. Sean Wade (1997 - 1999)

Served for 2 years as the vice principal. Appeared in two yearbooks.

Mr. Gary Fulks (1995 - 1997)

Mr. Gary Fulks was an altheltic director and assistant principal at WHS. He was probably hired to replace Mrs. Murphy, who was actually promoted to curriculum director. Served for only 2 years.

Mrs. Narda Murphy (1994 - 1995)

Filled in the vice principal position after Mr. Bowles was promoted. In the 1994 yearbook, she was quoted saying "Although I feel that this is an excellent opportunity for me to grow professionally, I look forward to returning to the classroom next year." While this did occur, she would eventually rise to power once again, this time as superintendent.

Mr. Lutzke (1988 - 1992 or 1993)

Despite the last name, this is not the same Mr. Lutzke that is a history teacher and coach today. This Lutzke was assistant principal at Williamston High School for at least 5 years, and was also an athletic director.

Mr. Sturock (1984 - 1985)

Mr. Sturock is the oldest vice principal on record, thanks to school yearbooks. He was also the athletic director during his time in WHS. He was vice principal for at least one year, but is not seen in the 1988 yearbook.


Williamston Middle School

Principals

Mrs. Debra LaFleur (2020 - Present)

Mrs. LaFleur is the current principal of Williamston Middle School. She replaced Mr. Watson in July of 2020 following his resignation. She was previously the assistant principal at Williamston High School.

Mr. Robert Watson (2017 - 2019)

Mr. Watson was the principal of Williamston Middle School for two years. He replaced Mr. Martin after the conclusion of the 2016-2017 school year. Before serving at Williamston, Mr. Watson was the Assistant Principal at Hillside Middle School from 2014 - 2017. Before that, he was principal at Northville Public Schools from 2006 - 2014. He was also a social studies teacher at Northville High School from 1999 - 2001. During his rule of WMS, he was mostly known for banning backpacks in classrooms. In early 2020, he went on administrative leave for several months. In July of 2020, Mr. Watson resigned. His LinkedIn profile has not been updated to reflect any of his time at WCS, which is odd.

Mr. Scott Martin (Unknown - 2017)

Mr. Martin was principal at Williamston Middle School until 2017. We do not know when he first took the job at WCS, but may have been as far back as the early 2000s. He departed at the end of the 2016 - 2017 school year.


Explorer Elementary

Principals

Mrs. Kelly Campbell (2015 - Present)

Mrs. Campbell is the current principal of Explorer Elementary. From 1991 - 2008, she was a 4th & 5th grade teacher, but later became a middle school teacher at WMS. She was eventually promoted to principal from middle school teacher in 2015. During the pandemic, Mrs. Campbell took Dr. Spina's place until he returned from national guard duty. She was appointed Deputy Superintendent by the Board of Education in 2020 as a result.

Dr. Adam Spina (Unknown - 2015)

Dr. Spina was the principal of Explorer for a number of years. We do not know when he became principal. In 2015, he stepped down from the position, but was appointed superintendent of WCS two years later.


Discovery Elementary

Principals

Mrs. Cassie Pfander (2020 - Present)

Mrs. Pfander is the current principal of Discovery Elementary. Prior to joining WCS, she was a kindergarden, third grade, and fifth grade teacher at Howell Public Schools for 14 years. She filled the spot left behind by Mr. VanRemmen's departure.

Mr. Patrick VanRemmen (Unknown - 2020)

Mr. VanRemmen was the principal of Discovery elementary for a number of years. We do not know when he came to Discovery, but before that he spent 15 years teaching 5th grade in Ralya Elementary School. In 2020, Mr. VanRemmen resigned and returned to Haslett to teach 5th grade once again.


Sources

1. Spartan Newsroom - Williamston City Council introduced to new superintendent of Williamston Community Schools 2. Williamston Community Schools Website - Administration Page 3. Lansing State Journal - Williamston schools picks new leader
4. Facebook - ChristopherLewisForWCS 5. Williamston Community Schools Website - BOARD OF EDUCATION OFFICERS AND TRUSTEES 6. LinkedIn - Greg Talberg
7. City Pulse - Clerk: Williamston campaign crosses state law 8. Williamston Community Schools Website - WCS NAMES NEW HIGH SCHOOL PRINCIPAL 9. LinkedIn - Jeffrey J. Thoenes
10. Williamston Community Schools Website - WHS NAMES NEW ASSISTANT PRINCIPAL 11. LinkedIn - Chris Armour 12. LinkedIn - Robert Watson
13. Haslett Website - Mr. VanRemmen 14. CADL.org - Yearbooks