2006-04-15 / Top News

Jack Dehring Retires from Island School

Inside: Superintendent Profile on Page 5
By Ryan Schlehuber

It was discussed for only a matter of minutes, however, during a regular Board of Education meeting at Mackinac Island Public Schools, Superintendent Jack Dehring announced he will be retiring July 1.

"It's just time," explained Mr. Dehring. "I'm not sure what I'll do after July 1," he told The Town Crier. "I am going to relax, and we'll see from there."

School Secretary Barb Fisher read aloud a statement from Mr. Dehring, who was present at the meeting, and the board approved the retirement, with regret.

"I'm not sure we want to accept this," said Trustee Patricia Martin before the board voted.

"Quite frankly, I'm speechless," said Trustee Jason St. Onge.

Mr. Dehring has been with the school for 34 years, with most of those years spent teaching high school science. He was hired as the superintendent in 2004, replacing Gary Urman, who took the superintendent job at Boyne Falls. Mr. Dehring also served as superintendent for Mackinac Island Public Schools briefly in the mid-1980s and again in the 1990s.

Four members of the sevenmember school board were, at one time, a student of Mr. Dehring's. His daughter, Sarah, is the school's physical education teacher, and his son, Jack Jr., is a teacher in Illinois. His wife, Dorothy, was treasurer for the City of Mackinac Island from 1992 to 2005.

"It's sad to see him go," said Trustee Sara Chambers about her former teacher.

Mr. Dehring told the board that, under state law, he cannot be affiliated with any schoolrelated issues until 30 days after July 1 and, therefore, cannot serve on a superintendent search committee. He said he is not even allowed to visit the school. He suggested that the board consider hiring Ken Drenth of Cedarville as a consultant for the committee. Mr. Drenth is a former superintendent at Les Cheneaux Community Schools in Cedarville and also worked for the Eastern Upper Peninsula Intermediate School District.

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