Dowagiac Union High School welcomes assistant principal

DOWAGIAC — There is a new face roaming the halls of Dowagiac Union High School.

Dowagiac Union High School recently welcomed Bryan Sperling as its new assistant principal, taking the place of Mike Churchill, who resigned as assistant principal in September in order to take a position at Coloma Community Schools, which is closer to his home.

Now in his third week at the high school, Sperling said he is up for the challenge of filling the role of assistant principal.

“I’m loving it,” he said of his new position. “Every day something new happens — I get to meet new kids and everything is just exciting right now.”

From Grand Rapids, Sperling, 40, worked at Grand Rapids Public School for 16 years in various roles, including as an English teacher. He graduated with a bachelor’s degree from University of Michigan and a master’s degree in teaching from Grand Valley State University.

Though he said he enjoyed his time at Grand Rapids Public Schools, Sperling said he applied for the position of assistant at Dowagiac Union High School because he was looking for a new challenge and a new opportunity.

“I have family friends here and they talk about it, so I saw the opening and knew I had to apply,” he said. “I’m really happy I did.”

As assistant principal, Sperling will have his hands in may jars at the high school from helping with event organization to student discipline to teacher evaluations and more.

“I’m here to help with the needs of the students, whatever those might be,” he said. “I do a little bit of everything.”

So far, Sperling said he has been working to get to know the students and parents at the school, which he said is always the biggest challenge when coming into a new school.

“People don’t accept you right away, nor should they,” he said. “There needs to be trust, so that is what I am doing right now, earning trust of parents, students and staff. You have to earn it. Trust can’t just be given.”

For the moment, Sperling said his goal is to continue to earn the trust of the students and parents of Dowagiac as he gets to know the school and to incorporate his personal philosophy into his work as assistant principal.

“For me, I think that every situation is a learning opportunity for the kids, and we need to show that to them in every way we can. School is more than just English and math,” he said. “I’m here to help kids learn, and I want to keep getting to know the school and get immersed in the community.”

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