Superintendent resigns from St. Joseph Public Schools, new leader named

Dr. Jenny Fee

ST. JOSEPH, Mich. -- The St. Joseph Public Schools Board of Education met Tuesday morning and accepted the resignation of Superintendent Dr. Jenny Fee, which will go into effect July 31.

Fee has verbally accepted an offer to become the Assistant Superintendent of Instructional Services at Kent Intermediate School District.  Fee is currently awaiting approval of her employment, scheduled for July 15.

President of the St. Joseph Board of Education Barry Conybeare said, “Dr. Fee joined the district at a difficult time -- the middle of the pandemic. She led us through those challenges and leaves the district with a comprehensive strategic plan and detailed facility assessment, both of which will guide the district over the next several years. The board of education is grateful for Dr. Fee’s vision and leadership over the past three years and wishes her the best in her future endeavors.”

Fee added “St. Joseph Public Schools benefits from a community dedicated to strong schools, a board of education who makes decisions in the best interest of students, a skilled and cohesive administrative team, and a staff of the highest caliber. It has been an honor to serve St. Joseph Public Schools as its superintendent. I am grateful for your trust and the opportunity to serve, learn and grow in such a wonderful community and district. I wish only the very best for the entire school community.”

The board of education selected Kristen Bawks as the next superintendent of St. Joseph Public Schools.

Bawks currently serves as the district’s assistant superintendent.

Of Bawks, Fee stated, “I have absolute confidence in Mrs. Bawks’ skill set and readiness for the position. Over the past two years that I have worked side-by-side with her, she has demonstrated positive leadership, strong decision-making skills, and a relentless focus on doing what is best for the students of SJPS.”

Bawks will officially become superintendent on August 1.

Conybeare stated, “Mrs. Bawks comes to the role with significant leadership experience, established relationships and a deep commitment to the students, staff, families, and community of St. Joseph. For many years, the Board of Education has seen Mrs. Bawks as a potential leader of the district. During her 20 years with SJPS, Mrs. Bawks has served as a teacher at E.P. Clarke, Principal at Brown School, and as the Assistant Superintendent. We can expect a seamless transition and strong leadership with Mrs. Bawks as the superintendent.”

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