Two new principals to greet Avondale elementary students this fall

By: Mary Beth Almond | Rochester Post | Published June 19, 2013

ROCHESTER HILLS — School has only just gotten out for summer, but the Avondale School District is already busy preparing for the upcoming school year, including hiring some new principals at the elementary level.

Auburn Elementary, home of the new Avondale/Oakland University collaborative partnership school, will welcome a new principal for the 2013-14 school year, Robert “BJ” McCabe — who had been the learning consultant at Hampton Elementary School in the Rochester Community School District since 2009.

“Every time I have been on the campus of Avondale since being named principal, I always leave feeling more excited than I did when I got there. The staff that I’ve met, the families that I’ve met, and the other faculty members that I’ve met have just been so welcoming to me and have offered to help in any way they can. I feel very blessed and very welcomed by the community, which makes me very excited to start in July,” he said.

McCabe said he plans to bring a collaborative leadership style to the position, which he begins July 1.

“I always put students first and I’m just really looking forward to working with the students, the staff and the family community of Auburn and Avondale,” he said.

Immediately prior to serving as the learning consultant at Hampton Elementary School, McCabe was a fourth grade teacher there from 2003-2009. He holds a bachelor’s in education from Central Michigan University, a master’s in educational administration from Saginaw Valley State University and a Michigan Administrative Certificate for Elementary and Secondary K-12 education. McCabe is a resident of Chesterfield.

Avondale Superintendent George Heitsch said he’s “pleased” to welcome McCabe as the new principal.

“BJ McCabe has a deep enthusiasm and love of education at the elementary school level. He has the energy and vision to successfully lead this new school concept with Avondale and Oakland University,” Heitsch said in a statement.

Woodland Elementary School students will also see a new face this fall. Former Avondale Middle School assistant principal Arryn Schneider will replace retiring Woodland Elementary School principal Amy Price, effective July 1.

Schneider started her career in the Avondale district 19 years ago, as a fifth-grade teacher, and moved into the middle school assistant principal position last year. Prior to her promotion, Schneider had been providing support in the absence of an assistant principal on an interim basis, according to Heitsch.

“Arryn Schneider demonstrated solid leadership skills and administrative competencies during her tenure at Avondale Middle School. She is well-positioned to lead Woodland following the excellent direction provided by Mrs. Price,” Heitsch said in a statement.

With 16 years of her career spent in Meadows Upper Elementary School, Schneider said elementary school has always been in her heart.

“I was ready to move back home and be back in an elementary building, working with the teachers and the students,” she said.

Schneider said it’s important to her to hear from, and understand, the perspectives and ideas of those around her, and she plans to build “a community of trust” at the school.

“I go by the phrase, ‘I lead, you lead, we lead together,’” she said.

The Avondale School District can be reached at (248) 537-6039.