New year, new superintendent: Tebo transition should be smooth

Dave Tebo

This January first will bring another change besides the New Year for the Hamilton Community. The recently hired Mr. David Tebo will be taking over as the superintendent of the school district.

Mr. John VanBonn has been filling in so far this school year as interim superintendent.

“I have enjoyed the opportunity to help out here in Hamilton,” John VanBonn said, “It’s been a busy but exciting time for me and I appreciate all the help I have received.”

Most everyone anticipates the transition will be a smooth one.

“With the background and experiences he brings with him,” VanBonn said, “I would anticipate a smooth and efficient transition for everyone.”

Mr. VanBonn will also be staying on a part-time schedule to assist with the transition.

Mr. Tebo is hoping to spend the first period of time getting to know Hamilton, and letting everyone get to know him.

“I want to see all the specifics of what’s going on before I look big picture,” Tebo said.

“He is very interested in meeting with students, staff, and parents,” Rick Kooiker, President of the School Board, said, “so he can begin building relationships and learn about the many activities that are a part of Hamilton schools.”

Mr. Tebo is often described as young, energetic, and passionate. He is dedicated to his job, keeping students as his number one priority.

“It’s important for a school district to prepare students for when [they] leave,” he said.

Tebo is currently the superintendent of Michigan Center school district, has past experience as a teacher and as an administrator, and will bring this experience to Hamilton.

He also hopes to bring to Hamilton “a continued passion for education,” describing himself as “somebody who will live, eat, and breathe the school system.”

The most important things to him are family, faith, and his job.

“David has a great combination of professional and personal attributes,” Kooiker said, “that have helped him achieve success as an educational leader. These character traits along with his passion for doing what is best for students made him stand out from the other candidates we interviewed.”

The process began when the school board hired Gene Young of the Michigan Association of School Boards to find and research candidates to fill the position. Six applicants were chosen for the first round of interviews, two of which were then interviewed in a second round. Both these interviews were held as public forums where the community and school board asked questions of the applicants.

Through this series of interviews and additional school board meetings, Mr. Tebo was selected as the best choice for Hamilton.

“His experience as a superintendent was certainly an important factor in our consideration,” Kooiker said, “He… has demonstrated an ability to make places better wherever he has been.”

Tebo, his wife, and two young children had been hoping to move to west Michigan, where Tebo’s wife has some job opportunities in the Grand Rapids area.

“I’m looking forward to all that Hamilton has to offer for my kids,” said Tebo.

From his personality to his experiences, Mr. Tebo should be a good fit for Hamilton, where the school is such an important part of the small community.

“I just really look forward to jumping in with both feet and seeing where that takes us,” Tebo said.


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