Howard-Ellis principal to be honored during ‘Legendary Evening’

Published 8:06 am Tuesday, June 12, 2018

NILES — A Niles High School graduate will be honored by the Niles Education Foundation at their fifth annual “Legendary Evening” fundraiser on Friday, Aug. 10 at the newly renovated Fifty5, 104 N. Third St.

The NEF Board of Trustees made its selection of the honorees with input from faculty and administrators, and suggestions from the public, based on a criteria of “making a difference” in the Niles community and around the world.

This year’s legendary Niles High School alumni that will be honored is Michelle Asmus. Asmus is a graduate of Niles High School and attended Michigan State University and Bowling Green State University where she received her bachelor’s degree in elementary education and her master’s in educational leadership from IUSB.

Michelle Asmus

Michelle began her teaching career in the Toledo Public Schools, which is the fourth largest school district in the state of Ohio. Michelle taught first, third and sixth grades at Walbridge and Martin Luther King Jr. Elementary Schools.

In 2000, Michelle was contacted by her former second-grade teacher Barb Garrard, who told her about a teaching position at Howard-Ellis Elementary.  As a student in Niles, Michelle had attended Northside and Ballard, but had never roamed the halls of Howard-Ellis. 

Michelle took advantage of the opportunity to teach at Howard-Ellis so she could be closer to family and to raise her children in the school district she loved.   Michelle quickly rose through the ranks of elementary education at Howard-Ellis School and served as the assistant principal from 2004 to 2009 before becoming the principal. 

Michelle is a member of the Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development, and the Michigan Elementary and Middle School Principals Association.

Michelle and her husband Jason have two boys. Her two sons attend Howard-Ellis, which is a great comfort to their mom, Asmus said. Michelle and Jason take an active role in their sons’ activities. On any given day of the week residents will find Michelle at Howard Township Baseball Park cheering on a student, painting a bathroom or organizing concession volunteers.  On Sundays people will find Michelle at Summit Church volunteering as a greeter or working with the JOY Group.

The Niles Education Foundation raises money each year to acquire and grant resources exclusively in support of the Niles Community Schools for programs and projects suggested by teachers and administrators aimed at enhancing, enriching and supplementing learning opportunities for students, staff and community.  Since its establishment in 2009, the Niles Education Foundation has impacted more than 6,000 Niles Community students and invested more than $175,000 for the enhancement of public education at Niles Community Schools. 

To honor Asmus and support local programs, the community is encouraged to join the Niles Education Foundation on Friday, Aug. 10 at Fifty5. The time has not been announced. Fifty5 is a new venue located in the former Elks Temple on the corner of Third and Cedar Streets to recognize this exemplary Viking. Tickets to the “Legendary Evening” are $35 per person.  For more information contact Niles Community Schools (269) 683-6662 or