Palace Chrysler-Jeep

Wandrie looking north to Lapeer schools

March 23, 2011 - through the interview process."

From the board to the district's employees to the parents and community, "there was a very student-centered focus in the district."

Wandrie also appreciated the "attractiveness of a small town school district," something he was familiar with having gone through Lake Orion Schools.

"It's really where I'm most comfortable," he said.

In the end, he saw the Lapeer position as a "natural fit for my personality" and is extremely grateful to be given the chance to lead an entire district "with half of my career in front of me still."

Wandrie's worked in public education for 12 years.

Prior to taking over as Dearborn's human resources director just last summer, he worked in the Waterford district for six years. First, he was the assistant principal and athletic director for Waterford Kettering High School, then he was promoted to principal of Waterford Mott High School.

Prior to Waterford, he taught in Oxford.

It's hard to believe given his meteoric rise professionally, that education wasn't Wandrie's first choice as a career,.

When he attended Alma College as an undergraduate, Wandrie's original course of study was pre-med.

However, an injury he sustained while playing football for the Division 3 college gave him the opportunity to coach some high school students. That got him interested in working with young people.

That experience coupled with the fact that he had been "discouraged" by some of the instruction he received as a high school student led him to the education field.

"Education needs dedicated people and I felt that I was a passionate person (with regard to) teaching and learning," he said. "I just very much enjoy working with kids of all ages and I don't think that will ever change."

Wandrie lives in Addison with his wife of 11 years, Christie, and their three children – Thomas, 10; Jack, 8: and Anna, 6.

Even though they technically reside in the Lake Orion school district, all three children will be attending Clear Lake Elementary in Oxford this fall as Schools of Choice students.

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