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Board approves new hires



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August 17, 2011 - Brandon Twp.- The school board unanimously approved the hiring of a new full-time athletic director, as well as a new assistant superintendent during their Aug. 15 meeting.

Carole Beverwyk is the new assistant superintendent of curriculum, instruction and accountability, replacing Joanna McKinney, who resigned to take a position in the Birmingham School District.

Beverwyk comes to Brandon from Walled Lake Consolidated Schools, where she was the assistant superintendent of K-12 curriculum for the past five years. Previously, she also served as an assistant superintendent in the St. Johns Public Schools for three years and was director of the Livingston and Washtenaw Mathematics and Science Center from 200-2003. Beverwyk, who has a master's degree in curriculum from Michigan State University, has also taught middle school science, preschool and pre-kindergarten, and was a biology teacher during a 2-year stint as a Peace Corps volunteer in Tonga, South Pacific.

"Altogether, I have about 25 years experience in education," said Beverwyk, who adds that she came to Brandon because she saw an opportunity to work in a community that strongly supports the schools. "The challenge I have at hand is to ensure our students are prepared for success in a global economy. I want to make absolutely sure that our curriculum is aligned with common core standards for the state of Michigan. I will be preparing for new state assessments coming in 2015. I have to review and become familiar with all curriculum in content areas and work together with teachers and principals to make any necessary adjustments to our curriculum to ensure our students are prepared— not just teaching to the test, but making sure our students have 21st century skills in place, technological fluency, that they are great, creative problem solvers and excellent communicators. I think by ensuring our curriculum is aligned, it will take us a long way toward increasing our test scores."

Don Watchowski is the new full-time athletic director. He replaces Wayne Thompson, who has returned to teaching in Brandon.

Watchowski comes to Brandon from Richmond High School, where for the past year he has been an assistant principal/athletic director. Previously, he was an assistant principal intern and athletic director intern in Birmingham and also had an assistant principal internship in Troy. Watchowski was an elementary teacher in the Birmingham School District from 2008-2010 and was a high school and middle school teacher in the Royal Oak District from 2004-2008. He was the head varsity baseball coach at Seaholm High School in Birmingham from 2005-2010 and coached junior varisty basketball at Royal Oak High School from 2005-2008.

Watchowski did not immediately return calls for comment.

Superintendent Lorrie McMahon was pleased with the new hires.

"Don brings a fresh look and we have heard lots of great things from the other districts he has worked in," she said. "Carol comes with great experience, which we need. We're in the process of a districtwide school improvement project, and she is very knowledgeable in current curriculum expectations. She will come in ready to go. I think both Carol and Don will be a huge asset to our team."

Susan covers Brandon Township and Ortonville
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