Interim superintendent starts at Clintondale Community Schools

Former administrator, Green, retires after 25 years

By: Nick Mordowanec | Fraser - Clinton Township Chronicle | Published September 4, 2020

 Van Sweden

Van Sweden


CLINTON TOWNSHIP — Clintondale Community Schools recently unveiled its 2020-21 school year plans. The departure of a familiar face and a temporary replacement was also announced.

Former CCS Superintendent Greg Green retired from the district after 25 years. He was an advocate for a “flipped” school model that has been utilized since its 2010 implementation, dropping the failure rate from about 30% to 8% by 2016.

On Aug. 10, Barbara Van Sweden was unanimously selected by the school board to succeed Green as interim superintendent. She officially started Aug. 25.

Van Sweden earned her bachelor’s and master’s degrees from the University of Michigan, and an educational specialist in leadership degree from Oakland University.

“While we received interest from several impressive candidates, Barbara Van Sweden was selected for the interim superintendent because of the depth of her experience,” CCS Board of Education President Beverly Lewis-Moss said in a statement. “Her background includes over 10 years of experience as a teacher, almost 10 years of experience as a principal, and almost 16 years of combined experience in an assistant superintendent or superintendent capacity.”

Van Sweden has over 45 years of experience as a school administrator, most recently serving as superintendent for two years at New Haven Community Schools. Before that, she was the superintendent at Fitzgerald Public Schools for nine years — a role she took on after serving as the district’s assistant superintendent for curriculum and instruction since 2004.

Prior to her roles at New Haven and Fitzgerald, she was a teacher and coordinator of early childhood programs at Detroit Public Schools and an elementary principal in L’Anse Creuse Public Schools.

“I’m very excited to have this opportunity to be the interim superintendent at Clintondale Community Schools,” Van Sweden said in a statement. “I know there are wonderful staff members here who are very passionate about serving the students and families here in the community. I’m looking forward to meeting everyone and getting the school year started.”

CCS officials noted Van Sweden “played an integral role” in passing a bond proposal in her first year at New Haven, while helping to “strengthen the collaboration between central office and building-level leadership.”

“Each candidate had unique experiences and qualities to bring to the table,” Lewis-Moss stated. “However, Mrs. Barbara Van Sweden’s overall experience as a superintendent and assistant superintendent — in addition to her work during COVID-19 as an interim superintendent in a district similar to Clintondale — stood out. The board would like to welcome Mrs. Van Sweden to the Clintondale Dragon family.”

Green exited without making a statement. Lewis-Moss stated in late July that his retirement was effective “immediately” and that they offered him well wishes.