Board picks Seager for superintendent

Don Campbell / HP staff Watervliet High School

WATERVLIET — The Watervliet school board made a unanimous decision Tuesday night regarding who they want to hire as the district’s new superintendent. 

The board chose Ric Seager, high school principal in Schoolcraft, as the top candidate for the job. 

Board members said he was detailed, passionate and had clear goals on how to improve the district. 

“I also just think he really wants this job,” Board Member Eric Laws said. “I think there’s something to be said about someone who wants this role.”

Seager will start July 1, pending contract negotiations.

Seager told the board, unlike how his resume looks, he plans to be in the district for 10-12 years, which is probably the rest of his career.

He’s been the Schoolcraft High School principal since 2015. Prior to that, he was the director of school improvement and assessment with Kalamazoo Public Schools for five years. He also served as an assistant principal for two years, elementary principal for two years, and as a junior/senior high school principal for two years with the Bronson school district.

In addition, Seager was the technology facilitator in Bridgman for two years. His teaching experience includes two years at Belding Area Schools and 10 years at River Valley Public Schools, along with being a project manager at River Valley. Seager also taught math and technology.

The school board also interviewed Jonathan Whan, superintendent for Grant Public Schools.

The board narrowed down to Seager and Whan from 17 applicants.

The school board asked the candidates Tuesday night during a second round of interviews about what they see as the district’s needs, how they would foster collaboration between staff and how they would approach pushing change when someone disagrees.

Seager also was a finalist for the Coloma Community Schools superintendent position last summer and Whan was a finalist for the South Haven superintendent position late last year.

Watervliet’s superintendent position was vacated by Kevin Schooley, who took the position in South Haven. John Jarpe is serving as interim superintendent of Watervliet schools through the end of June.

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