Greetings Parents and Families of Country Oaks Elementary,

As you know, I have been named as the interim Principal for Country Oaks Elementary and I wanted to take a few moments to introduce myself to you. This academic school year begins my twenty-fifth year of working for Huron Valley Schools. During my career in Huron Valley,  I have had the opportunity to teach both elementary and middle school students. My first teaching assignment was at Oxbow Elementary, where I worked for four years as a fourth grade teacher before transferring to Country Oaks Elementary. At the time of my transfer, Country Oaks had only been opened for one year; however, Country Oaks had already established a reputation for being a premier school that understood the importance of community involvement, academic rigor, and a commitment to continuous improvement. For the next eleven years, I had the privilege to call Country Oaks my second home, where I had the good fortune to work with other  passionate educators, incredible families, and supportive community members.

While in Huron Valley, I have had a broad range of classroom assignments and leadership opportunities at the elementary, middle, and high school levels. Some of the leadership roles I have had include being a new teacher mentor, Technology Strategic Planning Team member, district and building based  professional development presenter, and a member on various committees related to curriculum development and implementation. In addition to my professional experiences, I have a Master’s Degree in Curriculum, Instruction, and Leadership and an Education Specialist Degree in K-12 Leadership. I am also a certified school administrator and hold a Michigan School Administrator Certificate. Finally, I am a recent graduate of  the Galileo Teacher Leadership Consortium,  where I have been trained in Covey’s “Leader In Me” and a variety of other leadership and instructional strategies.

On a personal note, my wife and I just celebrated our 30th Wedding Anniversary (which thankfully I remembered), and together we have raised three wonderful boys. All of my children are proud graduates of Milford High and currently live in Grand Rapids. My oldest son Sean is a recent graduate of Grand Valley University and his two younger brothers, Kyle and Ian, are currently attending Grand Valley University. As recent members to the “Empty Nest Club”, my wife and I enjoy camping, fishing, and our frequent travels to Canada. Other activities that allow me to “Sharpen My Saw” include coaching and playing hockey, reading, and listening to music.

As both a parent and educator in the Huron Valley School system, I have had opportunities to interact and work with many dedicated parents and talented educators. I have seen first hand the level of excellence exhibited by community members, administration, teachers, and support staff every day. As I previously mentioned, Country Oaks was identified as a premier school early on, and I am committed to help continue that legacy. I believe that successful schools are built on their ability to develop and sustain relationships between every stakeholder, all while creating  a culture that values and develops the leadership abilities of their staff and students. Finally, I believe that successful schools foster and maintain a strong “home-school” connection. I look forward to the opportunity to help my Country Oaks Family build upon the achievements of the committed parents and educators who have already worked so diligently to allow Country Oaks to shine for over twenty-three years.

Thank you for the opportunity to serve your families in this role! Please do not hesitate to reach out to me if you have any questions, concerns, or ideas you would like to share.

Gary Hamilton