Hertsel Cass superintendentPublished 8:34pm Wednesday, February 15, 2012
Cassopolis Public Schools this week hired Ross Beatty Junior/Senior High School Co-Principal Tracy Hertsel as the next superintendent effective July 1.
The school board interviewed Hertsel, a 24-year district veteran, on Jan. 30 to succeed retiring Supt. Greg Weatherspoon.
Hertsel had a hectic day Wednesday, including about an hour and a half with Weatherspoon because “we’ve already started a transition plan to that date. We’re going to work very closely. Negotiations will be a real challenge we want to bring to closure before Greg leaves.”
Another “concern” will be finding his replacement as principal, for which a posting has been finalized.
“It’s a challenge to keep all the balls in the air,” Hertsel said, but Feb. 15, with two honors assemblies, “was a good day kid-wise.”
The board voted 5-0 for Hertsel, with the support of President Christine Locke, Jeremy Carlisle, George Calvert, Sue Horstmann and Scott Ward. Jason Pompey and Janet Hall were absent.
Hertsel, a Donnell Lake native who graduated from Ross Beatty with its first class in 1980, is in his second year as one of three co-principals.
In his interview, he said his first actions as superintendent would revolve around the budget, which won’t be any easier, so the district must be creative, set priorities and know what as a board, community and school district can be accepted, “always keeping kids in the forefront. The students have to be our focus”; and marketing because “we have great things happening in Cassopolis and need to get the word out,” such as Cass County’s first robotics team.
Twice, March-July 2005, and February-April 2004, Hertsel served as interim superintendent of the district for which he will now be instructional leader for more than 500 students and 50 professional and nonprofessional staff.
He has been a firefighter since 1982, first for Penn Township (until 1990); then for Cassopolis (since 1991).
This school year Hertsel worked with Sheriff Joe Underwood to establish an on-site resource officer and implemented a new seven-period day.