Six longtime Dowagiac school employees retire; four hired

Published 6:12 am Thursday, May 26, 2022

DOWAGIAC — The carousel of educators and school employees in one local school district continues to turn. 

At its regular meeting on Monday, the Dowagiac School Board approved the resignation or retirement of two teachers, two administrative employees, the school counselor and facilities director. As he announced each departure, Superintendent Jonathan Whan honored each retiree with a brief statement on what they meant to the district. 

Margie Brosnan, who has been working at DUS in various positions for 27 years, is retiring from Justus Gage Elementary, where she spent the last 14 years teaching fifth grade. Ronna Page, a 34-year educator with experience teaching kindergarten through fourth grade, is retiring from the district after 32 years. 

School Counselor Deb Eggink, is retiring after 25 years in education and 11 years at DUS. Administrative Assistant Jeannie West is retiring after 18 years with the district.  

Administrative Assistant Kathy Stewart is leaving DUS after 20 years. Stewart also was secretary to Superintendent Jonathan Whan, who expressed his gratitude to Stewart at the meeting. Zoe Michael will be taking over Stewart’s position as secretary to the superintendent. 

“Kathy is hardworking, caring, extremely knowledgeable and a true blessing to all that she works with,” said an emotional Whan, as he looked across the stage toward Stewart. 

Longtime DUS employee and Facilities Director John Juroff also is retiring.  

“John is more than just a good employee, he is a good man and a good husband,” Whan said. “We wish all our retirees great joy and happiness as they pursue their next great adventure.” 

In addition to the retirements, the school board accepted the resignations of Patrick Hamilton third grade teacher Samantha Haner and Dowagiac Middle School science teacher Mark Herndon. 

The board also announced the hiring of Justin Fuller as maintenance director, as well as Amy Steinman as counselor to DMS. 

Two English teachers for the high school – Nicole Meachum and Andrea Sprague – also were hired. 

“We are very excited about these two hires,” said Whan, of the English teachers. “Very positive feelings on how we’re going to embrace the language arts department at the high school.” 

In other business, the board: 

  • Approved the purchase of a plow/utility truck 
  • Approved a $43,505 sound system upgrade for the high school athletic facilities