A message from the Superintendent
Welcome back for another exciting year at Fitzgerald Public Schools. I can’t wait for the new school year to start so our students and families can experience the great things happening in our district. This year:
- We will celebrate the re-opening of Schofield Early Childhood Center as enrollment in our district grows. The building has been updated and new playground equipment was installed to serve the youngest members of our Fitzgerald family. The building will house all preschool and kindergarten classes.
- We are launching a new elementary grade alignment that will allow us to boost achievement by taking an age-specific approach at each of our three elementary buildings.
- Several teachers have been promoted to administrative positions. It has been a pleasure to watch them grow into leadership roles, and our families will appreciate the exciting things they have planned for their buildings.
- We are beginning our first year of full one-to- one technology access as a Google School. Thanks to a commitment on the part of the board and our staff, every student now has access to a device at any time to support learning.
- We continue to train staff in Capturing Kids Hearts, a program that supports learning by creating a culture of caring and mutual support. Research shows that caring school cultures have a direct impact on learning and achievement.
Thank you for choosing Fitzgerald as your learning community. Together we are making Fitzgerald an outstanding district.
If you have questions or concerns about anything at all, feel free to call me at (586) 757-1750. If I’m unavailable at the moment, the staff in my office would be happy to help answer your question or pass along your message to me.
Superintendent, Fitzgerald Public Schools
About Superintendent VanSweden
Barbara VanSweden has served as Superintendent of Fitzgerald Public Schools since her appointment by the Board of Education in February 2009.
Mrs. VanSweden joined the district in July 2004 as the Assistant Superintendent for Curriculum, Instruction and Assessment. Prior to coming to FPS, she served as an elementary principal in L’Anse Creuse Public Schools for nine years. Her career began in the Detroit Public Schools where she worked as a kindergarten teacher, K-3 math teacher and later coordinated early childhood programs at the central office level.
“I will always remember the 21 years that I served as an educator in DPS. Teachers, administrators, parents and students had a profound impact on who I am as an educator and how I lead my personal life,” says Mrs. VanSweden.
Preparation for Mrs. VanSweden’s career as an educator began at the University of Michigan, where she earned her Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees. Later in her career, she earned an Education Specialist Degree in Leadership from Oakland University.
“I always wanted to be an educator and have been influenced by many wonderful teachers and mentors throughout my life and career,” Mrs. VanSweden said. “The degrees I have earned and the connections I have made at the university level have helped me learn and understand the role of leadership in an organization.”
Highlights of Mrs. VanSweden’s career include designing successful early childhood programs in the Detroit Public Schools; supporting her staff to earn the Blue Ribbon Award as an elementary principal; and designing/implementing educational programs and services in Fitzgerald Public Schools.
Looking Forward to the Future of FPS
Mrs. VanSweden is looking forward to the strategic planning process that the district has initiated to identify goals, strategies, action plans and indicators of success during the next few months of the 2017-2018 school year.
“I look forward to sharing the strategic plan with staff and the community during the year and asking for their feedback,” Mrs. VanSweden said. “It is essential that we think about how we are preparing our students for jobs that may not yet exist. We will also examine the changing work environment as an essential strategy in how we educate our students. Technology and personalized learning will also play a major role in the new strategic plan.”
Mrs. VanSweden is proud of FPS staff, administrators and parents for their dedication to helping FPS students succeed.
“It is a privilege to work in Fitzgerald Public Schools.” Mrs. VanSweden said. “Our team of administrators, as educational leaders, play a key role in the success of the district. Teachers and support staff that work day-to-day with students in our classrooms are dedicated professionals that want to see each student aspire to his/her potential. We are fortunate to have secretaries, custodians and bus drivers that care deeply about our students and families. We are also fortunate to have a dedicated group of parents and volunteers from the community that support the district in so many ways.”
586-757-1750 – Office
586-283-1959 – Fax