Chippewa Valley administrator set to retire

By: Alex Szwarc | C&G Newspapers | Published August 27, 2021

 In regard to how he has grown as a professional, Walt Kozlowski said he’s always valued relationships and has become more comfortable with making them a priority. His last day with Chippewa Valley Schools is Aug. 31.

In regard to how he has grown as a professional, Walt Kozlowski said he’s always valued relationships and has become more comfortable with making them a priority. His last day with Chippewa Valley Schools is Aug. 31.

Photo provided by Walt Kozlowski

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CLINTON TOWNSHIP/MACOMB TOWNSHIP — Walt Kozlowski’s plan is to wait and see what the future holds.

At a May Chippewa Valley Board of Education meeting, it was announced that Kozlowski, the executive director for innovation and learning, was retiring.

Kozlowski has served the district for 19 years as a middle school assistant principal, middle school principal and in his latest role.

Kozlowski’s retirement is effective Aug. 31. He has been part of the central office team since 2018.

The 49-year-old from Washington Township came to the district in 2002 as the assistant principal of Algonquin Middle School in Clinton Township. He then worked as a principal at Algonquin for 11 years. Prior to being in the district, he began his educational career at Rochester Community School District as a middle school teacher.

When asked how he transitioned to the district administration level, Kozlowski said he’s someone who always tries to do the best he can where he’s at, all while looking for the next challenge.

“Each step along the way, you get a chance to expand your circle of influence,” he said. “In my classroom, I had about 100 kids a year that I’d impact directly. When I became a principal, I had 600 students and 30 staff members I could impact.”

As to how he has grown as a professional, Kozlowski said he’s always valued relationships and has become more comfortable with making them a priority.

“When you develop that relationship and trust, that’s how you get things done together,” he said.

Assistant Superintendent of Educational Services Don Brosky said it’s been an honor to be a part of the educational services team with Kozlowski over the past three years.

“He was instrumental in the transformation of the department with his vision for innovation and learning,” Brosky said. “Especially in reading and the development of a guaranteed and viable curriculum.”

Kozlowski has a bachelor’s degree in elementary education; a master’s degree in curriculum, instruction and leadership; and an education specialist degree in school administration, all from Oakland University.

As principal, Kozlowski said what he remembers most is the kids.

“Seeing them come in as sixth graders and watching the growth,” he said. “I remind parents that, when sixth graders come in, they are closer in age to kindergarteners than high school graduates.”

Brosky said Kozlowksi is extremely dedicated to his family and that, even though the district is losing him, his family will be gaining him on a full-time basis.

“Thank you, Walt, for everything you’ve brought to our department, to students and staff over your career,” he said. “I wish you the very best as you begin this new chapter in your life.”

Superintendent Ron Roberts said he’s always been so impressed with Kozlowski’s knowledge.

“I don’t think I’ve ever met a person who, as a leader, was so humble,” he said. “His knowledge of education and curriculum, his understanding of how to move people to achieve goals, was second to none. I say that because it’s true.”

Roberts called Kozlowski’s style so unassuming and engaging that it is inspiring.

“Sometimes, we visualize leaders as those people who can stand up before us and present things that are bombastic,” Roberts said. “That is not Walt. The way he inspires is so real and quiet that he ropes you in that you want to do something.”

Kozlowski’s plans include being more present with his wife and five kids.

Karen Langlands is replacing Kozlowski as executive director for innovation and learning.

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