Gordon “Gordie” Nickels was selected as the Sparta superintendent by a
unanimous vote of the Sparta Area Schools Board of Education.
an assistant superintendent at Byron Center Public Schools, was among
five candidates interviewed for the position. He was selected following
a series of
interviews with community stakeholders and the school board on Tuesday,
June 18. The other finalist for the position was Plymouth-Canton
Community Schools Assistant Superintendent Philip Freeman.
President Warren Hill said the Sparta Board “felt he had his finger on
Sparta's pulse,” and board member Amanda VanStrien said “he has a heart
was a building administrator and curriculum director in Caledonia
before accepting the assistant superintendent position in Byron Center.
He began his career
as a teacher and coordinator in Kentwood. He earned both his master’s
and bachelor’s degrees in education from Western Michigan University. He succeeds Kent Swinson, who is retiring.
Sparta Area Schools has a student enrollment of about 2,700 students.
five candidates interviewed for the position were Sparta Middle School
Principal Joel Stoner, Boyne Falls Public Schools Superintendent Karen
Sherwood and Charles
Muncatchy, who had served as superintendent of several districts,
including Memphis, West Ottawa and Mount Clemens in Michigan.
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