Board names interim school chief

Don Campbell / HP staff Watervliet High School is pictured Sept. 8, 2018.

WATERVLIET — Retired Brandywine Superintendent John Jarpe will now lead Watervliet Public Schools, at least for the time being.

The Watervliet school board approved hiring Jarpe as interim superintendent at its regular meeting Monday night.

Last week the board interviewed Jarpe and Dave Waaso for the position now held by Kevin Schooley. Schooley was selected to lead South Haven Public Schools last month. He starts there Jan. 2.

Jarpe retired as superintendent of Brandywine Community Schools in 2017, after 10 years in the position. The Niles native taught at Lake Michigan Catholic and Brandywine, including assistant principal, before going to Brown Elementary in St. Joseph to serve as its principal from 1988-2007.

School Board President Bill Spaulding said Jarpe’s contract with Watervliet starts Monday and will go through June 30, 2019, allowing the school board time to get a permanent superintendent.

Schooley said he has a lot of respect for Jarpe and thinks he’s going to do a good job for the district.

In other business, the school board made some budget amendments because of changes to personnel, revenue, expenditures and adjustments in compensatory education allocations. 

Schooley said another big factor is student enrollment. The district had budgeted for an additional 20 students this year, but it ended up with an additional 49. 

The budget was amended showing revenue of about $14.9 million and expenditures of about $14.7 million. 

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