Martin school board members approved hiring David Harnish for a combined superintendent and high school principal position at their Monday, May 19, meeting.
He signed a three-year contract with an annual salary of $100,000.
Harnish is completing his 11th year as principal and curriculum director at New Lothrop Area Public Schools.
He and his wife Kelley plan to sell their home and move to the district.
“I’m really looking forward to being an active participant in the community,” he said. “The demographics of the area are very similar to where I grew up—a rural community and small school where everyone knows one another.”
Harnish said when he first saw the job posting, he immediately considered its impact on his family.
“Being close to my family, especially my father, was important. I’m really looking forward to this opportunity,” he said.
His father lives slightly more than 10 minutes away and his son Benjamin will be attending Harnish’s alma mater, Western Michigan University, in the fall.
“I waited for my son to graduate (before applying) I wanted to make sure there was consistency for him.
“This is my golden opportunity to use my education and take my career to the next level,” said Harnish.
He said he will work to carry on the changes made by Bill Miller, who had been the district’s part-time superintendent since the 2010 retirement of longtime superintendent Greg Alexander.
These changes include the restructuring of the district’s administration and new dual enrollment and curriculum options.
“I will support those initiatives and continue to make Martin the school of choice for students in the area,” he said.
Harnish will immediately begin working towards hiring in the restructuring process.
He said he hoped to complete interviews for the new combined position of athletic director and dean of students today (Thursday, May 22) and begin interviewing for the elementary (kindergarten through eighth-grade) principal the week of June 1, followed by the hiring of a new superintendent’s secretary.
School board president Tom McLaughlin said, “I think we’ve got a gem in David. I am excited to begin working with you and I think this is going to be a good fit.”