Vestaburg school superintendent takes job at Jackson Public Schools

By Elisabeth Waldon • Last Updated 10:27 pm on Friday, March 14, 2014

VESTABURG — Jeff Beal is returning to his alma mater as its new leader.

The superintendent of Vestaburg Community School resigned Monday effective June 30. He will take on superintendent duties at Jackson Public Schools starting July 1.

Jeff Beal

Brandon Hubbard, who has been principal of Vestaburg High School since 2007, will be interviewed by the Vestaburg school board at Monday night’s meeting, after which he likely will be appointed interim superintendent. Meanwhile, Montcalm Area Intermediate School District Superintendent Scott Koenigsknecht will assist the Vestaburg school board with a search and interview process for a new superintendent.

“It is bittersweet to leave my colleagues from Montcalm County and the beginning of a great adventure filled with challenges, opportunities and boundless possibilities,” Beal said. “I am looking forward to beginning my work with Jackson and while it is great to be a Viking again, I will always have that part of me that is a Wolverine.”

Beal graduated from Jackson High School in 1989. He said he grew up in poverty, living at one time in a two-bedroom trailer “where the wind came in through the walls.” He said his parents always impressed the importance of education upon him.

“I learned that lesson from my parents and am grateful for the many fine teachers I had in Jackson who provided me with living evidence and encouragement,” he said.

Beal put himself through college, eventually earning a master’s degree and specialist degree. He began his career as an English teacher at Quincy High School and went on to work as intermediate school assistant principal and elementary school principal at Remus Elementary School and athletic director in the Chippewa Hills School district and Vestaburg Middle School principal and special education coordinator before becoming superintendent of Vestaburg Community School in 2010.

Beal earned a starting annual salary of $85,000 when he became Vestaburg’s superintendent. According to the Jackson Citizen Patriot, Beal will earn a starting annual salary of $145,000 at Jackson Public Schools, as well as a $7,500 annual contribution to a tax-deferred annuity of his choosing. Beal’s contract also stipulates he must maintain a residence within a 20-mile distance of the Jackson school district’s nearest boundary. Jackson schools will pay Beal a $5,000 moving allowance if he moves prior to Sept. 1.

“I am honored to be returning home, thrilled to be able to share my experience and leadership with Jackson and provide proof that with enough courage and support the education and examples that we provide our students will change lives,” said Beal of his new job.

While he is excited to relocate to Jackson, he looks back with fondness at his years with Vestaburg.

“Vestaburg Community School truly is a great place to work, live and play,” Beal said. “We have an outstanding staff, quality programs and tremendous support from our community. It has been my privilege to serve as their superintendent for the last four years. During this time we have added to our fund balance during some of the toughest financial times in public education, created strong working relationships with our employees and worked to change the way we teach and our children learn. We have grown our use of technology and now look into a bright future where anything is possible.

“To be sure, we have work to do and the efforts by these professionals to grow and improve their craft continues to impress me,” he added. “I am proud to call them friends and wish this school, these students and our community nothing but the best.”

Vestaburg Community School Board of Education President Lynn VanSickler could not be reached for comment for this story.

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