New superintendent fulfills role

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By Caitlin Bush and Allison Lackner

Dr. Gary Niehaus was chosen as the new superintendent by the Board of Education on May 11. Niehaus is a veteran superintendent and brings years of experience to the position.

“I have been a superintendent in Illinois for 18 years. Seven years at Salem 
Elementary School District, four years at Charleston Unit School District No. 1  and seven years at McLean County Unit District No. 5,” Niehaus said via email.

Daniel Roeske the Vice-President of the Board is happy with all the hard work the Board members put in to find Niehaus. Out of the two finalists, the board selected Niehaus with a 5-2 vote.

“It was a very extensive process and very time consuming. Every board member, all seven of us, this is our main job to hire a new superintendent,” Roeske said. “So this really took a lot of time, and I am very happy to say, and not unexpectedly, that every board member participated in the process.  Every board member did their work and due diligence to get us Dr. Niehaus.”

Niehaus is eager to make changes. He plans to address special education, the North-South tradition and rivalry, technology (specifically digital content and one-to-one implementation) and enrollment.

Roeske is confident that Niehaus is a good fit for the job and will accomplish his goals.

“I think if he were to work on those four things right away and start taking a look at those, we would absolutely see a shift in what we are doing,” Roeske said.

Niehaus is excited to be a part of a school district with an excellent teaching staff and administration that work together to make the school system even better.

“I want to be a part of helping lead and guide the direction of the school
 district,” Niehaus said.

Niehaus previously worked in a larger district but likes the community-driven aspect of Grosse Pointe schools and wants to work with the community to improve the district.

“Dr. Niehaus is coming from a district of about 13,000 students, so this is a person who has an experience leading large organizations,” Roeske said. “Someone who is not going to micromanage, but set the vision and support the building administrator to get the job done. So he is going to bring the experience of leadership that I think we need and the community wanted in the surveys.”