By Judy Reed
Beach Elementary Principal Ken See is leaving Cedar Springs Public Schools to be principal at Grandville Middle School.
That position will take him back to what he was originally doing when he first came to Cedar Springs almost 12 years ago.
See was hired in November 2004 as the Middle School Assistant Principal and Athletic Director. “I started at the old Middle School (what is now known as Red Hawk) the day they came back from Thanksgiving Break,” he recalled.
In 2007, he became the Middle School principal, and in 2010 he moved to the high school as associate principal. Three years later, in 2013, he became principal at Beach Elementary.
“I have so many great memories,” remarked See. “Meeting the students coming from the buses every morning; middle school students and staff performing at the spring talent shows; high school and New Beginnings graduation ceremonies; all staff tailgate parties at homecoming football games; and powerful conversations with other principals around teaching and learning.”
See said he will miss the people the most. “I have made so many friendships with teachers, administrators, support staff, students and parents throughout the district. Teaching is all about relationships and I am blessed to have worked with such wonderful and dedicated people,” he remarked.
It was not an easy decision for See to make. “Leaving Cedar Springs was a difficult decision,” he explained. “I have been blessed with so many wonderful friendships, experiences and growth opportunities throughout the years. They have shaped me to be the person and professional I am today. Having a distinguished district like Grandville contact me to go through the interview process was affirming. Knowing I would be joining a team that valued my skill set and knowledge felt good. I have jokingly compared it to the feeling of being picked first for the recess kickball game. Now I am just excited to have this opportunity to start the next chapter in my professional life.”
“I feel sadness in leaving,” added See. “It’s a natural part of any change like this, but I trust that God was looking out for me with this new opportunity. I leave with best wishes and hopes for my friends and colleagues in the Cedar Springs Schools and community.”
Superintendent Dr. Laura VanDuyn had praise for See in an email she wrote to staff about his resignation. “Ken has served students, staff and families at CSPS with heart and enthusiasm. To that point, a tribute to Ken came from a graduate from 2015, Tamara Tiethoff, as she gave her graduation speech. She remarked that she always remembered Mr. See sharing each day on the morning announcements, ‘Be your best today!’ Ken’s work with students, staff and families over the years is much appreciated and won’t be forgotten,” she said. “Ken, we thank you for all you did at CSPS and we wish you the very best in your new endeavor!”
VanDuyn said plans are underway to find new leadership for Beach Elementary.
See is the second elementary principal to leave this year. Cedar View principal Andy Secor also left a vacancy at the end of the school year when he took a job at Hudsonville Public Schools.