DOWAGIAC — The Dowagiac Union School District will soon have a new superintendent. Current Superintendent Paul Hartsig announced his resignation in late March and had it formally accepted by the Board of Education at a special meeting this week.
Hartsig is ending his long relationship with the Dowagiac schools in June to accept the superintendent’s job in Bath, Mich. He will start his new position July 1.
“It was a difficult decision to make but one that we believe will be beneficial to our family,” Hartsig wrote in a letter to district staff. “We have lived in the Dowagiac area for the past 25 years. During that time we have raised our family here and have had a wonderful experience doing so.”
Hartsig said he decided to apply for the Bath job in an effort to get closer to his home town of East Tawas. He and his wife, Diane, are both from that area and their parents still live there. He noted that Bath is just two hours away from their parents’ homes, rather than five hours away.
He also said this is a good time for them to move because one of their children is graduating from Dowagiac this year and their youngest will be entering high school this fall.
Hartsig began working in the Dowagiac school district in 1995 as a high school teacher and became the high school principal in 2004. He left in 2012 to become the Bridgman High School principal. He came back to Dowagiac to become the superintendent in 2014.
During his tenure as superintendent, the district successfully promoted a $37.2 million bond issue that was approved by voters in November 2015. That work which includes renovations at the high school, four elementary schools and the high school athletic field are expected to be done later this year.
Hartsig reported that school board members began discussing the search process at Monday’s special meeting but did not make any decision. Members are considering whether to hire an outside firm such as the Michigan Association of School Boards or conduct the search themselves.