SOUTH HAVEN — The start of a new school year will bring some administrative changes for South Haven Public Schools.
After five years as principal at South Haven High School, Jerry Sardina will be returning to the Upper Peninsula to become superintendent of Iron Mountain Public Schools, while Lincoln Elementary Principal Bennett Tyler has accepted a principal’s position at Wayne-Westland Public Schools in the Detroit metro area.
Both administrators are moving to be closer to their families, according to South Haven Schools Superintendent Kevin Schooley.
“I am happy for Jerry. There’s a lot of family for them in the Iron Mountain area. Again, with Bennett, that (southeast Michigan) is where he and his wife are from and with four youngsters, they are looking to be near their family as well.”
South Haven Board of Education President Laura Bos agreed.
“We will very much miss Jerry. But we know this is a good career move for him.”
Schooley posted Sardina’s position Wednesday and expects to make a decision for choosing an interim principal by the end of this week.
“We do have our assistant principal (Ryan Williamson) and dean of students (Doug Thorne) still in place and Jerry will remain here for at least a couple of weeks,” Schooley said.
Tyler resigned earlier this month. District officials will accept resumes for his position until Friday and then being scheduling interviews.
Iron Mountain’s Board of Education unanimously voted on Monday to select Sardina as superintendent.
According to the Iron Mountain Daily News, school board members chose Sardina from 17 candidates. During Monday’s meeting, the board interviewed Sardina and one other finalist, Bruce Tapio, former North Central Schools superintendent.
Prior to coming to South Haven, Sardina had been principal and athletic director at Stephenson Middle/High School in Menominee County four years, and assistant principal there three years before that.
He has a master’s degree in education administration and supervision from Northern Michigan University, and worked in law enforcement for 13 years before switching to education. He and his wife have three children.
Tyler also spent five years in South Haven as Lincoln School’s principal. Prior to coming to South Haven, Tyler taught fourth-grade for seven years at West Bloomfield’s Sheiko Elementary School, and before that taught in Northville and Livonia. He has a master’s degree in educational leadership from the University of Michigan.