Former Niles teacher gets top job in Tecumseh schools

Published 10:20 pm Wednesday, November 26, 2003

By By JOHN EBY / Niles Daily Star
Tecumseh Public Schools' superintendent site-visit team spent Monday in Dowagiac and that night offered Dowagiac Assistant Superintendent W. Todd Bingaman the job.
Bingaman, of Battle Creek, will succeed Rich Fauble, who retired in October. The district in Lenawee County began the search process with 42 resumes.
Representing Tecumseh in Dowagiac in meetings with community leaders were board members Mark Wolfe, Suzanne Moore and Milt Abbott; Tecumseh Education Association President Jody Quinnell; Tecumseh High School special education teacher Connie Purkey; Teri Hoeft, executive assistant to the superintendent; and parent Mary Deming, a Tecumseh City Council member.
Tecumseh, with 3,400 students, is a bit larger district than Dowagiac.
The decision ends a six-month search and weaves another strand into a coincidental bond with Lenawee County.
Another community in the county is Morenci, where Ron O'Brien became superintendent in 1999 after 13 years as principal of Justus Gage Elementary School.
The superintendent responsible for hiring O'Brien back to his hometown from Buchanan in 1986 was Dr. Roger Dixon, who came here from Addison in Lenawee County.
Tecumseh gave Dowagiac Don and Polly Judd. Judd was business manager prior to Hal Davis and went on to serve on the Lewis Cass Intermediate School District board.
Polly retired as secretary at Central Middle School.
Bingaman served as Dowagiac's special education director for six years before leaving for six years in Battle Creek.
He was rehired in May 1999 to succeed Larry Crandall, who moved up to the top job after nine-year Superintendent Ronald O. Jones retired.
Bingaman, Dowagiac's special programs director from 1987 to 1993, held a similar position as director of special education and staff development for Battle Creek Public Schools from 1993 to 1998, though during the 1998-99 school year he served as principal of W.K. Kellogg Junior High School.
In that role he managed, supervised and led a staff of 59 and 530 students in a city junior high school in transition to a middle school.
He was president of the Michigan Council for Exceptional Children in 1991.
Bingaman came to Dowagiac from Berrien County, where he was teacher consultant for the Intermediate School District in Berrien Springs from 1975 to 1987.
Bingaman taught for Niles Community Schools from 1973 to 1975 after beginning his career in 1971 as a school home visitor in Plymouth, Ind.
Bingaman earned his bachelor's degree in education from Ball State University in Muncie, Ind., in 1971, his master's degree in education from Indiana University in 1974 and the director of special education programs at Michigan State University in 1987.
His wife is a caterer. They have two sons.