Chippewa school board appoints new administrators

By: Jeremy Selweski | Macomb Township Chronicle | Published August 13, 2013

MACOMB TOWNSHIP — Two new administrators joined the team at Chippewa Valley Schools’ district offices this week.

Dr. Pamela Jones was appointed as director of curriculum and assessment, while Kelly Newhouse was named special education supervisor. Both positions were approved unanimously by the Board of Education at its Aug. 5 meeting, and the administrators started their new jobs on Aug. 12.

Jones has worked in Chippewa Valley Schools since 2000. For the past decade, she has served as principal of Cherokee Elementary School, and she spent three years before that working as an assistant principal at Cherokee, Shawnee and Cheyenne elementary schools. Jones’ teaching career dates back to 1987 and includes 12 years spent as a national science and mathematics curriculum consultant. She has a Ph.D. in educational leadership from Oakland University, an education specialist degree in administration and supervision from Wayne State University, and a master’s degree in science education, also from Wayne State.

Jones said that it was a very difficult decision to leave Cherokee for her new position.

“Cherokee is a wonderful, wonderful community with such a great group of people working there,” she said. “I’m going to miss the staff and all the daily interactions with my students. I used to get 100 hugs a day, but my new role will be a lot less hands-on.”

According to Superintendent Ron Roberts, the director of curriculum and assessment position is a new position that was created by the district to fill a few specific needs. Jones’ role will involve organizing and implementing Chippewa Valley’s curriculum at all grade levels, analyzing its standardized test scores and providing professional development for teachers, among other responsibilities.

“I want to help bring all of our schools together and hopefully have a positive impact on more students than I was before,” she said. “My biggest goal is to make sure that each and every student in our district reaches their full potential.”

Roberts believes that Jones is the ideal candidate to make that happen.

“Pam has a proven track record of utilizing data to help improve instruction and educational outcomes for her students at Cherokee,” he said. “I’m excited about her taking this skill to the next level to help boost achievement for all of our students.”

Meanwhile, Newhouse’s role as special education supervisor was established via the retirement of another administrator. Laurie Capoferi retired this year after 33 years with the district, most recently serving as co-director of its special services department alongside Adam Blanchard. Following Capoferi’s departure, Blanchard was appointed as the new director of special education.

Newhouse has been a Chippewa Valley employee since 2006, working as a speech language pathologist at the preschool, elementary-school, middle-school and high-school levels. Recently, she has spent the majority of her time assisting special-needs students at Mohawk Elementary School. She earned her bachelor’s degree from Miami University in Ohio and her master’s degree from Loyola University in Maryland. Newhouse also previously lent her skills to Quality Care Rehabilitation in Clinton Township and to the Tyquin Speech Pathology Group in Brisbane, Australia.

Newhouse said, “becoming an administrator wasn’t something that I initially considered for my career. But I started taking on a lot more leadership roles in the district, so when this job opened up, I felt like it would be a good fit for me.”

Still, she said that she was sad to see Capoferi leave the district. She noted that Capoferi was the person who hired her at Chippewa Valley Schools and has served as a role model for her ever since.

“Those are going to be some very big shoes to fill, that’s for sure,” Newhouse said. “I’m just really excited to have this new opportunity. I really want to be there to support the students, teachers and parents of this district and help them out in any way that I can.”

Blanchard was also eager to begin working with his new colleague. “Kelly has demonstrated servant leadership through her time in CVS,” he said. “She is always willing to help other staff members in their efforts to increase student achievement. This dedication to students and staff will make her a valuable resource in the special services department.”

Both Jones and Newhouse expressed optimism about the future of the district. As Jones put it, “I feel like Chippewa Valley already has some amazing things going for it, and so my job is just to enhance what we already have. I think that we will only keep getting better and better.”