Schoolcraft hires new superintendent

Schoolcraft school board members welcomed the district’s next superintendent. Front row, from left, are board Secretary Katie Redmond, superintendent-designate Rick Frens and President Jennifer Gottschalk. Back row, from left, are Trustee Adam Haley, Treasurer Wade Rutkoskie, Vice-President Jason Walther, and Trustee Randy Blankenship. Frens starts July 1.

By Travis Smola

The Schoolcraft Board of Education in March hired Rick Frens as the district’s next superintendent effective July 1. He will replace Superintendent Rusty Stitt, leaving after 10 years with the district.

Frens is originally from Grand Rapids and attended Grand Rapids Christian Schools before going on to Hope College, where he played football and majored in special education. He taught special education in nearby Wyoming before moving to southern Maine where he taught special education at Noble High School in North Berwick, Maine. After his wife Meg was offered an athletic trainer position at Hope College, they moved back to Michigan.

From there, he resumed his special education work at Grandville High School while also earning a master’s degree in educational leadership at Grand Valley State University. Frens’ first job in administration was assistant principal at Kelloggsville Middle School. He also served as assistant principal at the high school there. For the last eight years, Frens has served as Hamilton Middle School’s principal.

In addition to his administrative work, he has also served on the executive board of Michigan Association of Secondary School Principals. Frens has also been highly involved with athletics, serving on the executive board of the Ottawa-Kent Athletic Conference and coached football and track at Grandville.

“I feel my professional and personal experiences have prepared me well to lead in Schoolcraft and maintain the positive forward momentum of the district,” Frens said in an email. “We have so many great resources including strong academics, a top-notch team of staff members, a bond construction project and solid community support.”

Frens and his wife have three children. Their son, Sam, is set to graduate from Hamilton High School this year and will attend Hope College in the fall. Their older daughter, Nora, is a freshman. Their younger daughter is a fifth grader. It seems they already have the spirit for Schoolcraft too.

“Paige hasn’t taken off her Schoolcraft Eagles hat since it was dropped off the other day,” Frens told the board at the meeting.

Board members and building administrators at the end of the meeting congratulated Frens on having earned the job.

Leave a Reply