Archived Story

It’s a ‘clear choice’ for Brandywine principal

Published 9:39am Tuesday, July 14, 2009

By JESSICA SIEFF
Niles Daily Star

The Brandywine Community Schools Board of Education met for their annual organizational meeting Monday night, establishing board appointments, meeting dates and times for the coming school year and announcing nominations and elections of board officers.
But amidst the full agenda, a not so standard action item stood out.
The board was presented with the nomination of Pat Weckel to replace former Brandywine Middle/High School principal Greg Jones who resigned in March.
Weckel will come to the Brandywine district from serving as principal of Berrien Springs High School for the past three years.
Before that, he held the position of principal at Bridgman Middle School for five years.
Weckel grew up in Dowagiac and graduated from Dowagiac Union High School.
He got his Bachelor’s Degree from Western Michigan University and his Masters in Educational Leadership from Grand Valley State University.
“He’s an outstanding principal,” Brandywine Community Schools superintendent John Jarpe said Monday.
Jones’ resignation was met with controversy earlier this year when many parents and administrative staff came out in support of the educator and implied his resignation was not volunteered.
Jarpe said the district conducted a thorough search for a replacement for Jones and Weckel was one of eight final candidates to appear before a special committee made up of parents, board members, administrators and teachers.
Weckel, Jarpe said was the “clear choice” for the position which will see him start officially at the end of the month, under a one year contract.
Weckel will begin his duties at Brandywine on July 27.
Brandywine’s superintendent credits the new principal with raising graduation rates at Berrien Springs as well as test scores and said he brings with him “really notable accomplishments.”
Jarpe added that he is looking forward to Weckel “doing great things for us at Brandywine.”
Weckel won’t be the only new face within the district.
Jennifer Gray, coming from teaching within the Covert Public School System, has been given the position as a secondary science teacher at Brandywine.
Also Monday night Doris Schoenleber officially started on her term as a member of the Brandywine Board of Education, replacing Phil Bozung.
Schoenleber was elected to the position back in May.

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