2017-12-31 / Insight

New LakeVille Superintendent brings stability

BY NICHOLAS PUGLIESE

OTISVILLE – The LakeVille Community Schools District has undergone significant changes throughout the past few years, but according to Superintendent Michael Lytle, the district has “plateaued,” and the future is looking up.

Lytle himself is a new addition this year to the district. The LakeVille Community Schools Board of Education officially welcomed Lytle as new superintendent during its board meeting on Tuesday, March 14. After a closed session, the board voted unanimously to approve Lytle’s contract. Lytle’s contract went into effect immediately and will cover slightly more than two years, ending in June 2019.

Before hiring on as LakeVille’s superintendent, Lytle served time as principal of Clio High School. He began his teaching career with Bay City Public Schools and also served as a school principal at the elementary level. Lytle, 42, earned his bachelor’s degree in elementary education at Central Michigan University, followed by a master’s degree in administration, as well as earning his educational specialist degree, a post-master’s degree focusing on applied learning and preparation for executive leadership positions, through the University of Michigan-Flint.

In March, Lytle said his priority would be establishing trust and transparency in the community, a commitment that throughout the year has been the theme in LakeVille Community Schools. “I think first and foremost, we have to build the relationship and trust, with the community, the school board, the parents and the students,” said Lytle in March. “Along with that relationship comes trust and transparency.”

In July, Lytle navigated the district through an agreement on a new contract between LakeVille’s administrators and the Lakeville Education Association (LEA). The district announced a twoyear agreement had been reached between the two groups this summer, and Lytle commented at that time the pact is significant because of what it meant for the district. For the past six years, teachers at LakeVille Schools have seen their “steps” frozen — steps, in educational terms, refers to wage increases associated with years of service to a district. The new contract, said Lytle, thawed those step wage increases for the first time in a half-dozen years, opening up the stability of guaranteed raises coming with years of service, to the tune of a half-percent.

“New blood” has been a recurring theme within the LakeVille Community Schools, beginning at the top with Lytle, as well as four school board members — Dr. Branden McDowell, Jodi Strother and Ken Burkhardt were all elected to the Board in November of 2016, with Tiffani Ferrier appointed to the board a few months later.

The district also hired on several new teachers throughout the year, including four in Columbiaville Elementary, one in Otter Lake Elementary and two at LakeVille Memorial High School. The district has new football and volleyball coaches as well. “There’s a new energy in the district,” said Lytle in September. “We’re very fortunate for the high quality of professionals we’re able to hire to work with our community and kids.”

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