Welcome to Hillsdale Community Schools
Mrs. Whedon is our new Behavior Interventionist at Gier Elementary School. Mrs. Whedon will be working with all students at Gier so that they can be safe and successful at school. Creating a positive climate is Mrs. Whedon’s first priority. Mrs. Whedon is not an unfamiliar face to some of our Hornet Community as she is the Head Varsity Softball Coach at the high school. Mrs. Whedon has been married to her husband, Eric, for six years and they have one daughter, Peyton, that is in kindergarten at Gier. Mrs. Whedon came to us from Centria Healthcare where she worked as a Registered Behavior Technician (RBT) focusing on the daily behaviors and life skills to children that have autism. She is very excited to join her daughter and the fantastic staff at Gier Elementary.
Welcome to Kelly Meeker our new Educational Assistant. Before arriving in Hillsdale, Kelly worked as a substitute in local districts. She has a daughter who graduated from Jonesville and now attends Ferris State. She enjoys spending time with her children and grandchildren and taking care of her daughter's animals while she’s away at school.
Welcome to Kim Waters who will be teaching kindergarten at Gier Elementary School. Kim graduated from Grand Valley State University and previously taught in Waldron. She is married and has four wonderful step-children. Her hobbies include scrapbooking and volleyball. She enjoys being outdoors.
Introducing Maranda Hawkins-Barkey a new educational assistant. Maranda is a Hornet Alumni and the mom of three beautiful girls (two at DMS and one at Gier). Prior to joining our staff, Maranda was a florist at Smith's Flowers for 18 years. Welcome!
Andrea Ryan will be joining the Davis Middle School staff as its new secretary. Previously she was an Office Manager for 17 years. She is married to Michael and they have two children, Macie and Knox. She enjoys shopping, going to the lake, coaching softball, and spending time with her family and friends.
Welcome to Kelsey Kinnaird an educational assistant at Gier Elementary. Kelsey is a Hillsdale High School graduate who also does tutoring after school. In her spare time, she enjoys being outdoors and spending time with her family. Kelsey is also passionate about her 1,000+ collection of earrings!
Welcome Ashlee Rossman who will be located at Gier elementary as a part of the pathways to potential program. The pathways program targets five areas; attendance, education, health, safety and self-sufficiency. She will work with families to overcome housing crises, utility shut-offs, food shortages and issues in the home that impede learning at school. Pathways to Potential is built upon the belief that everyone has the potential to achieve their dreams. Some just need extra support and assistance along the path to achieve their potential. That is she will come in to help! Her hobbies include hanging out with family, traveling, downhill skiing and spending time on the water boating and kayaking. Welcome Ashlee!
Lauren (Hundt) Cornett will be teaching English and Government/Economics this year. She is a graduate of Hillsdale High School (2003). She earned her Bachelor of Science in Secondary Education with a major in Social Studies and minor in English from Baker College in 2010, completing much of her undergraduate work at Michigan State University. In 2018, she obtained a Master of Arts in Educational Leadership from Central Michigan University. She has previous teaching experience (2 years) at another local high school, and taught adult education (GED & high school completion) part-time for 8 years. She most recently worked for a local non-profit workforce development agency, and is excited to return to the classroom. Lauren has been married to her husband, Randy, for 10 years and together they have 3 children - Henry (9), Jack (7), and Violet (6 months). In her free time Lauren enjoys reading and spending time with her family. She is thrilled to return to her alma mater (HHS), and once again, be a Hillsdale Hornet.
Welcome KRISTY ATRA the new EdTech Teacher/Math Interventionist at Davis Middle School. She attended University of Tennessee (Bachelor of Architecture and Master’s in Education) and Lincoln Memorial University (Educational Specialist). Before DMS she was at St. Charles, Illinois – Academically Talented Math Teacher (grades 4 and 5) and Seymour, Tennessee – Math, Algebra and US History Teacher (grade 8). She grew up in East Tennessee, near the Smoky Mountains, moving to Hillsdale from Northern Illinois. She enjoys outdoor activities, traveling / exploring new places (the photo is from a family vacation to South Dakota), and Tennessee football (Go Vols!). She is married to Bob who will be teaching at Hillsdale College. Together they have three children: Mason (freshman in high school), Eli (7th grader), Baylor (3rd grader) – all will be attending Hillsdale Schools. They have a pet, Snickers, a 4-year old golden doodle and a cat named Oreo.
Introducing Rob Blatchley our Full time substitute bus driver or according to Rob-"Super Duper Child Transporter." Before coming to HCS, Rob was the Manager at Family Farm and Home. He loves to travel and his Kindle is his best friend. He is a 1990 Hillsdale High School graduate. He enjoys going to Prime Fitness--he has been on a life style journey, losing 97 pounds in a year and feeling better everyday! He is looking forward to a great year with HCS!
My name is Andrew Eisenga and I will be teaching 8th grade English Language Arts at Davis Middle School. I earned my degree at Central Michigan University and this is my first full-time teaching job although I did sub at McBain Public School this past spring (2018). I love reading, writing, traveling, hiking, camping, downhill skiing, playing games, game design/programming, and photography.
Meet Miss Cassandra Farmer our new AP English, English 11, English 12, and Short Story/Advanced Reading & Writing teacher @ Hillsdale High School. Miss Farmer attended Saginaw Valley State University and this is her first year teaching! She enjoys all sports, especially rugby and volleyball, as well as playing bass and acoustic guitar, fishing, CrossFit, and reading.
Introducing SARAH PUTNAM our brand new 2nd grade teacher! #NewTeacher Sarah (Jameson) Putnam was a graduate of Hillsdale High School and earned her degree at Central Michigan University. She recently married Kraig Putnam (also a Hornet Alum) in June of this year. Sarah grew up in Hillsdale and is excited for the opportunity to return to Hillsdale Community Schools as an educator. In her spare time she loves to read and to be outside.
Introducing KRAIG PUTNAM our brand new Biology and Anatomy and Physiology teacher at Hillsdale High School. #NewTeacher Mr. Putnam was a graduate of Hillsdale High School (2012) and Central Michigan University (2016). He earned a Bachelor of Education degree with an Integrated Science Major and Biology Minor. He student taught at Concord Middle School and taught one semester at CMS. In June he married his best friend Sarah Jameson. He loves backpacking and going on adventures. He is excited for the opportunity to teach at HHS.
Introducing MANDY VINCENT who will be teaching Health and Physical Education at Davis Middle School. #NewTeacher Mandy (Salisbury) Vincent graduated from Hillsdale High School in 2000 and Spring Arbor University in 2005 with a triple minor in Elementary Education, Exercise and Sports Science, and Language Arts. After graduation, she continued her education and received her Health Education endorsement. She played basketball and ran track for Spring Arbor as well. Previously she taught at Camden-Frontier School for 2 years, teaching 6th grade self-contained for one year and health, physical education and math remediation the other year. She also taught at Will Carleton Academy for 10 years as a physical education and health teacher. She was born and raised in Hillsdale, and has been married to Jim Vincent for 5 years. She has a son, Chase, who is 2 and ½ years old, a step-daughter, Rianna, who is 12 years old and a cat named Hooper. In her free time besides being with her family, she loves to ride her bike and shoot hoops. She loves The University of Michigan, Detroit Pistons, Detroit Tigers, and Hillsdale Hornets. She is excited and proud to be a Hornet again. She has been blessed to be able to teach what she loves. Mandy is motivated to provide students with the knowledge and skills they need to actively pursue a healthy lifestyle.
Introducing MRS. ELLIE TUCKER our new Elementary School Success worker. Ellie is a graduate of Hillsdale High School, Hope College with a Bachelor's in Social Work (BSW), and the University of Michigan, with a Master's of Social Work (MSW). She has worked in-patient and out-patient mental health with children, adolescents, and adults in Hillsdale and Branch Counties. She is married to Nick Tucker (HHS Mathematics Teacher) and together they have two sons. She enjoys baking, running, reading, and singing with the Hillsdale Arts Chorale in her free time. She is excited that each member in her family will be a Hornet this year!
Introducing Barbara Wheeler our Davis Middle School Principal. Mrs. Wheeler attended high school at North Central High School in Pioneer, OH, earned her Bachelor's Degree from The Ohio State University in Columbus, OH (Major: Elementary Education), and her Master's Degree at Azusa Pacific University in Azusa, CA (Major: Special Education), and her Post Graduate degree also from Azusa Pacific University in Azusa, CA (Administration). Before arriving in Hillsdale she worked in Baldwin Park Unified School District in Baldwin Park, CA (Taught 1st, 2nd, 5th, 6th grades and Special Education. Served as Categorical Resource Teacher and Principal, grades K-6), in Hamilton Community Schools in Hamilton, IN (Principal, grades K-12 and grades K-6), and in Fremont Community Schools in Fremont, IN (Principal, grades K-4). She is married to Ron and they have two children: Connor, age 21 and Brooke, age 18. Her hobbies include enjoying the lake, eating out, and cheering on the Buckeyes during college football season. We have a household full of pets, including 3 adopted, (planned), cats: Lucky, Kobe, and Miley. We also have other adopted (unplanned) pets: Stuart (cat), Amare (iguana), Lolly (gecko), Tiffanie (turtle) and Freddie (rat). Our unplanned pets have appeared in our house with Brooke's help. We look forward to the arrival of our puppy in the fall, a Golden Retriever to be named Archie. Buckeye fans will understand and appreciate this name choice!
Introducing Miss Sarah Sessions our new high school art teacher. Sarah graduated from HHS in 2008 and then attended Adrian College where she studied art education. Sarah earned a bachelor of fine arts degree with a K12 endorsement. She previously worked at Will Carleton Academy for two years. She has a family that consists of two daughters and a son. Her step-son is 16 and her daughters are 4 and 10 months. She loves to spend time in her garden, painting or taking pictures. She also loves to travel.
Introducing Mrs. Emily Vincent who will be teaching fifth grade at Davis Middle School. Emily grew up in Vandercook, just south of Jackson. She graduated in 2010 and went to Michigan State where she graduated in 2014 with a degree in elementary education and a teaching major in social studies. She started teaching first grade at Waldron in March of 2016 and looped to second grade with that class. Emily met her husband Casey at MSU and just got married this past June. She enjoys travelling -- especially to the beach, camping, spending time with family, and going to MSU football games with her husband. The picture is from her honeymoon to Washington DC.
Kimberly Bolz-Sweebe will be joining the Gier Staff as our new 4th Grade Teacher. Kimberly has 14 years of experience teaching in Hanover-Horton, Waldron, and Camden School Districts. She has a BA from Spring Arbor University and an MA from Mary Grove. She is married to Mason and has twin boys (Aiden & Brady, Age 7), and a three year old son named Rhys. In her spare time she enjoys waterskiing, traveling, and watching her three sons play baseball, basketball, and soccer.
We are so excited to announce that former athletic director Mr. Clay Schiman will be teaching 8th Grade US History at Davis Middle School. He is the head coach of the JV Football and Varsity Boys and Girls Track & Field teams. He is also in charge of the Polar Bear Club in the winter. Clay graduated from Hillsdale HS in 2004, and from Adrian College in 2008. He majored in Social Studies and minored in History. Mr. Schiman was the Athletic Director for Hillsdale Community Schools for the past 6 years and he has coached both track and football for 10 years. His hobbies include watching sports and traveling. Clay’s track teams have been very successful in recent years. The boys won three consecutive MITCA Team State Championships between 2014 and 2016, and in 2017 the boys finished second and the girls finished 7th. Clay has also been named MITCA Division III Boys Track Coach of the Year twice, in 2014 and 2016.
Introducing Amy Hine, who was hired to be an EA at Davis. She is looking forward to being of assistance where ever she is needed and she is excited to serve. This is her first position working in a school setting. She is a high school graduate from Ansonia Local Schools in Ansonia, Ohio, 1998. She attended UNoH (Northwestern College at the time) for one year with a major of Accounting, and she has completed the ACT WorkKeys assessment in accordance with NCLB requirements. Mrs. Hine has been married to her soulmate Craig for almost 18 years. Together they have 3 children, Jillian is a spunky 16 year old, Tessa is a 6 year old princess and both girls attend Hudson Schools. Thoran is an ornery and very busy 3 year old who will be starting his school career in Pittsford in Preschool this year. They are in the process of adopting their current foster son, who is 19 months old and learning quickly from Thoran. She has been a stay at home mom for the past 7 years, caring for many foster children from Hillsdale county, so she is looking forward to getting back to work, but will certainly miss the extra time with her children. In their spare time, her family loves to camp and be outside. She also loves this time of year. School starting brings fall weather, beautiful fall colors, bonfires with family and pumpkin spice.
Marisa Payne will be joining the staff at Davis Middle School as an educational assistant. She previously worked at the Hope House and has a BA from Siena Heights University. She is married and has two sons ages 11 and 6. In her spare time she loves to play and coach basketball.
Welcome Jen Stewart our brand new GSRP Teacher. Jen earned a BS from CMU and her teaching certification and ZA endorsement from Spring Arbor University. She previously taught at Jackson Community Action Agency. Jen and her husband Troy have three children, Ethan 14, Alyssa 12, and Lydia 10. They live in Brooklyn. In her spare time she enjoys kayaking, swimming, camping, and watching her children play sports.
Welcome Jessica Ladd who will be teaching high school special education. Before Hillsdale, she taught for two years at Litchfield Community Schools. Jessica attended Western Michigan University and earned a Bachelor’s degree in Special Education and a minor in math. She and her boyfriend have two dogs and enjoy traveling and other outdoor activities.
Welcome Mr. Brett Allman who will be teaching Physical Education and Life Skills this year at Davis Middle School. Previously he taught at Eastside HS (IN) for 6 years, Quincy Schools for 10 years, and most recently Hudson Area Schools for the past 4 years. In addition to teaching, he also served as an athletic director. His coaching background includes baseball, basketball, and football. As a Varsity Baseball Coach (15 years) his teams have amassed 275 wins. Included in those wins were 4 District Championships and 3 League Championships. He was named District Coach of the Year on 4 different occasions and named The Battle Creek Enquirer Coach of the Year twice. In 2011, he had the honor to work for USA baseball (formerly known as the Jr. Olympics). Brett is a proud father of 3 wonderful children. Macy (14), Kailey (12), and Brennen (10) all attend Quincy Middle School. All three are honor students and involved in multiple sports.
Introducing Mr. Dave Pratt who will be our Hillsdale High School "Dean of Students" and our "Athletic Director." Mr. Pratt joins us after spending the last 11 years teaching special education and coaching wrestling in Springport. He has a BA in History and Sociology from Olivet College, a MA in special education from Spring Arbor University, and an MA in Coaching and Athletic Administration from Concordia University (Irving, CA). Mr. Pratt and his wife Jamie have three beautiful daughters: Raelee, Abi, and Sophie. He is excited about joining our district.