HUDSONVILLE, Mich. (WOOD) — A large crowd voiced their concerns and support at the Hudsonville Public School Board of Education meeting Thursday night as three new board members took their oath.
Most of the public comments at the meeting were about the potential removal of Superintendent Doug VanderJagt.
“Barb, Mark, Greg and Nick, I am not sure who you have in your inner circle, but I have received confidential information from several sources today that you are going to try and remove Dr. VanderJagt from his position,” one concerned community member said. “I highly recommend you think long and hard on that. That man is loved and supported by his staff and this community.”
“Dr. VanderJagt has done a phenomenal job in leading our district. He listens to all invested people in the district and supports all of our students,” another woman said.
Other comments were about the three board members reportedly supported by right-wing political action committee Ottawa Impact.
“With the board gaining two members and maintaining another who are funded by and members of an exceptionally conservative group it is important to remember that the board serves at the pleasure of its constituents,” one person said.
“There are a large number of teachers available to retire over the next few years. Keep this behavior up and they’ll be gone and you will ruin this great district that we live in. The administrators and superintendent also deserve your support and respect,” another woman said.
Another speaker asked the board to represent all students.
“Fairly and equally representing all students is the bar that I and many others in our community will hold you to, please act accordingly,” the speaker said.
But another woman, a former teacher, said residents trust the board to lead.
“There’s tremendous pressure for school boards to give up local control and conform to the NEA agenda. The people of Hudsonville prefer to trust you to lead our district,” she said.
Board members voted for Barb Hooper as the new school board president, while Nick Bolhuis was selected as the vice president. Dawn Sneden was picked as the secretary; Greg Chanski as the treasure; Andrew DeWitt as the assistant secretary and assistant treasurer.