Navigating through a superintendent search can be strenuous, especially in the middle of the school year.

And that’s why Grand Haven Area Public Schools officials say the current deputy superintendent, Scott Grimes, is already in a perfect position to maintain the district’s momentum.

During a special meeting Wednesday, the school board approved hiring the 32-year veteran of the Grand Haven district as superintendent.

Grimes will replace the current superintendent, Andy Ingall, who announced his retirement last month. Ingall is stepping down at the end of December.

“When we hired Andy, Scott was a member of that pool of people that were interviewed for the position,” GHAPS Board of Education President Carl Treutler said. “Four current board members had been through that process and knew that Scott met the vetting requirements of the Michigan Association of School Boards. He’s an exceptionally qualified candidate and brings extensive knowledge of the district and a true dedication to student success.”

Originally from Battle Creek, Grimes graduated from Central Michigan University in 1987 and spent his first seven years in Grand Haven as a high school teacher and coach, eventually navigating his way through various positions in the district. Before serving as deputy superintendent, Grimes was the high school’s assistant principal for three years, followed by a 12-year stint as principal. He’s coached football, basketball and softball, and is the current president of the Michigan High School Athletic Association’s Representative Council.

Since he’s already an integral part of the district’s leadership team, his selection was viewed as a seamless fit, which was welcome in the wake of so many difficult decisions the board has faced over the past 18 months.

“I am humbled, honored and excited to have the competence of the board to lead this incredible district, a district that I have loved for years and years,” Grimes said. “To have my family all here in the front row, as well as teachers and administrators from the district, tonight means a lot and I appreciate their support as well.”

School board member Seth Holt said Grimes checked all the boxes of qualifications and can hit the ground running for the foreseeable future.

“We need somebody thoughtful, careful and knowledgeable – that’s why I’m in favor of Scott,” Holt said. “There’s some real hot issues going on right now and a number of things happening that are critical for us being able to provide our children a continuing excellent education. That’s what I see as being important factors for the future, and I think Scott can fill all those needs.”

Grimes acknowledged his appreciation for the district’s most-recent previous superintendents, Ingall and Keith Konarska, who have given him valuable mentorship.

“They allowed me to work very closely with them on a day-to-day basis, and I learned a lot about how to become a very good superintendent from both of them,” he said. “I think they’re both outstanding, and those relationships will help make the transition seamless.”

Grimes pointed to the initiatives that need addressed in the Grand Haven district after battling through COVID-19 for the past 18 months.

“The first thing is to get through COVID and get back to running things,” he said. “Then we have to look at facilities and those things that have been put on the back burner over the last couple years. Everybody is working really hard to get through COVID, but we still have to make sure we’re updating our facilities.”

Pending successful contract negotiations, Grimes will begin his duties as superintendent on Jan. 1, 2022.

His vision, Grimes said, is to continue the district’s mission in providing exceptional educational experiences and committed success for all students, and striving for exemplary programs and opportunities to meet their diverse needs.

“I have always said for years, we are so fortunate in Grand Haven to have bright and creative students that are hardworking, talented – and dedicated teachers, staff and supportive community which are attributers that make the district so special, and it always has been something special to me,” Grimes said.

Contact Matthew at mehler@grandhaventribune.com.

(1) comment

truthsentinel

Excellent choice. I have known Scott for most of the 32 years he has been in the district and he has been ready for this job for several years.

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