West Bloomfield High principal named BHS district superintendent

Tech brings search process to the community

By: Tiffany Esshaki | C&G Newspapers | Published November 27, 2019

 West Bloomfield High School Principal Patrick Watson will be the new superintendent of the Bloomfield Hills Schools district.

West Bloomfield High School Principal Patrick Watson will be the new superintendent of the Bloomfield Hills Schools district.

Photo provided by West Bloomfield High School

BLOOMFIELD HILLS/WEST BLOOMFIELD — West Bloomfield High School’s loss is the Bloomfield Hills Schools district’s gain.

West Bloomfield High School Principal Patrick Watson was selected by the Bloomfield Hills Schools Board of Education as the district’s new superintendent Nov. 20. He’ll replace Rob Glass, who resigned in the spring to join his wife in New York, where she accepted a position in the fashion industry.

The pool of candidates for the position included some currently employed in the Bloomfield Hills Schools district. To narrow the group of several dozen down to nine, and then three, the board utilized online tools to gauge opinions in the community.

“This is an exciting time for all of us, and our students are at the top of the list. Thanks to technology, we were able to engage in the most interactive superintendent search we have ever had. We held 19 separate focus groups and received feedback from over 800 surveys. The videotaped candidate interviews received many views and were even shown to a high school class, who emailed us feedback afterwards. Additionally, we received hundreds of emails over the last week from members of the community and beyond,” said BHS Board of Education President Paul Kolin in an email.

He went on to say that there was an overwhelmingly positive response to the finalist for the superintendent role.

“Our community spoke about qualities, shared personal stories and wrote about the district they’d like to see,” Kolin wrote. “That speaks not only to the exemplary character of … these men, but also to the respect our community had for our schools and for each other. I am, as always, proud to be a Black Hawk.”

Watson is a graduate of Eastern Michigan University, with an educational specialist degree in educational leadership and administration. He’s been the principal of West Bloomfield High School since 2014 and held various teaching roles before that. Watson’s résumé boasts a long list of honors and awards, professional affiliations, and volunteer coach and organizer roles within several districts.

“I am excited and looking forward to my next journey as the superintendent of Bloomfield Hills Schools. It is an honor to have been chosen, and I can’t wait to get started. Like West Bloomfield Schools, Bloomfield Hills Schools has many of the core beliefs that I have built my whole career on,” Watson said in an email.

Before the selection was made, board member Christina Kostiuk served as the interim superintendent.

“It has been my pleasure to serve the students of Bloomfield Hills Schools, and I am eager to work alongside Mr. Watson as he leads this next chapter for our community,” Kostiuk said in a prepared statement.

Watson’s start date had not been announced before press time. He said that while he is eager to start his new job, he’s thankful for the experience he gained in West Bloomfield.

“I feel truly blessed to have been awarded the many opportunities in the West Bloomfield School District that allowed me to flourish as a leader and become the person I am today. I couldn’t be more grateful to the community, the students and my colleagues,” Watson said.

On the district’s website, West Bloomfield School District Superintendent Gerald Hill posted some parting words for the principal.

“The West Bloomfield School District would like to express our deepest gratitude and appreciation to Mr. Watson for the tremendous work he has done throughout his career in West Bloomfield. He joined the district in 1994 as a social studies teacher at West Bloomfield High School and later served as the building’s assistant principal and athletic director before ultimately assuming the role of principal in 2014,” the post reads. “Mr. Watson has also left an indelible mark on the lives of countless student-athletes during his various coaching tenures at WBHS. His impressive coaching career led him to be inducted into the West Bloomfield Coaches Hall of Fame earlier this year.

“We congratulate Mr. Watson on his new position within the Bloomfield Hills School District. We know he will continue to work tirelessly to support students at all levels, and we wish him the very best as he embarks on the next step in his journey.”