New principal takes post at Monteith Elementary

By: April Lehmbeck | Grosse Pointe Times | Published June 24, 2015


GROSSE POINTE WOODS — Monteith students will start the new school year with a new leader, but not a new face to the Grosse Pointe community.

During its June 22 meeting, the Grosse Pointe Public School System Board of Education voted unanimously to approve the appointment of Shelleyann Keelean as the new principal.

Keelean, formerly a Parcells Middle School teacher and a Grosse Pointe South graduate, beat out a field of about 85 applicants for the new principal post.

Deputy Superintendent for Educational Services Jon Dean said that they posted the position in late April to fill the vacancy due to former Monteith Principal Keith Howell taking the position as director of elementary instruction.

Dean said he used community and staff input to create a profile for the position.

The district conducted screener interviews with 15 of the applicants, using parents and staff in the process.

With different parents and staff, they conducted full committee interviews with about five of the candidates.

“In his second day on the job, Dr. Niehaus was able to conduct two interviews with two final candidates, and when all of the dust settled, his recommendation is that Miss Shelleyann Keelean be appointed (to) that position,” Dean said.

“We couldn’t be happier to have Shelleyann with us,” Dean said.

Board President Judy Gafa talked about how her cousin had applied for the same teaching job at Parcells that Keelean received, and how Gafa’s son had hoped the cousin would get the job.

“When he found out Mrs. Keelean got that job, he was bent on not liking her,” Gafa said. “He was sure he wasn’t going to like her. Not only did he like her, he loved her, and when I told him the other day that she got the principal job at Monteith, the words out of his mouth were, and this is a 15-year-old boy, ‘I feel sorry for all of the kids who aren’t going to have her as a teacher, because she’s phenomenal.’”

Keelean thanked everyone for the opportunity to serve as the new Monteith principal.

“Growing up in Grosse Pointe, the schools were what fostered my love for education, and to be able to have this opportunity to come back and be a teacher and now a teacher leader is incredible. So, I’m so looking forward to working with the Monteith community and getting to know the staff, the students and, of course, the families.”