After months of interviewing candidates, Mark Neidlinger has been hired as director of Walden Green Montessori School in Ferrysburg. He begins Tuesday.
Neidlinger fills the vacant position created by the retirement of Barb Koning.
Neidlinger, a Michigan native, said he’s looking forward to returning to the state, and hopes to encourage more community involvement at the school — "so that kids can better connect with the broader world,” he said.
Neidlinger taught at Drummond Montessori School in Chicago from 1998 to 2002. He became the school’s principal in 2003.
Mitri Zainea, an educational consultant for the Walden Green Montessori Board of Trustees, assisted the school in searching for a new director. The search began in April and interviews began in June.
Zainea said they met with focus groups of staff and parents to look at what qualities they would like to see in the next director. Those qualities include someone who understands the Montessori method, has good communication skills, an ability to listen well, someone who will make the school more visible in the community, and someone who can lead and handle business and curriculum.
“They’re pretty lucky to get him,” Zainea said of Neidlinger.