TEMPERANCE — When Carl Shultz realized there was an opening for Bedford Schools superintendent, throwing his name in the mix was a no-brainer.
Mr. Shultz is a lifelong Michigander who has never ventured far from his hometown of Taylor in downriver Detroit. His wife, Jessica, is a Bedford High School graduate.
Carl Shultz in his office at the Bedford Public Schools offices in Temperance, Mich.
Perhaps the biggest reason for wanting the job was Bedford's culture.
"I wanted a district where the potential was the sky," Mr. Shultz said. "Bedford has a tremendous base. It's a very proud community, the students come to school prepared, and there's great support for academics, athletics, and arts. I've spent a lot of time here with my in-laws, and I knew it was a great community to be a part of."
The board of education hired Mr. Shultz Nov. 13 with a unanimous vote. Multiple board members spoke glowingly about Mr. Shultz and detailed conversations they not only had with him, but with those he worked with at Fitzgerald Public Schools in Warren.
“At the site visit, his secretary gave me a hug and started crying because she didn't want him to leave,” Board member Jenna Biggs said. “He was very respectful. Not necessarily a ‘yes’ man, but that's a good thing. He was awesome.”
Mr. Shultz, 40, served Fitzgerald for eight years, the last three as deputy superintendent. He oversaw all academics, teachers, principals, and teaching and learning technology.
Technology is a key part of Mr. Shultz's vision, and he was happy to learn of the district's one-to-one initiative putting a computer in the hands of every student.
"It really plays into that personalized approach," Mr. Shultz said. "Students can learn at their own pace, and if they can accelerate, they can go beyond. If they're behind, there are programs they can use if they're struggling. We still need instruction, but to have technology at their fingertips, that matters quite a bit."
Mr. Shultz's first day in the district was Jan. 8. Most of his time has been spent meeting with principals, staff members, department heads, and school board members to get a feel for where Bedford is on a variety of issues.
Updating aging facilities will likely need to be addressed, and Mr. Shultz believes academic achievement can be even better. Still, he emphasized this isn't a rebuild.
"As a superintendent, my goal is to focus on what we do really well and not have a thousand programs running at the same time. I want to narrow our focus on teaching and learning, and making sure we do it exceptionally well. If we do that, we'll be in great shape.
"No matter what my job is, I still love to learn. I still read. I love to hear how others are doing things. And I don't know anyone in this field who doesn't love to see kids smile."
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