Each year, the month of January allows us to pause and reflect on the year we had and the one that lies ahead. For me, it’s a time to think about those that play significant roles in my life. As the Superintendent of Bellevue Community Schools, our school board members are a part of this reflection. The Michigan Association of School Boards recognizes the significance of this group of people by deeming January School Board Recognition Month.
The Bellevue Community Schools’ Board of Education is made up of seven unique, yet similar individuals. It is my honor to introduce them to you.
Ed Bartha recently applied for and was appointed to fill a vacant position on the board. He brings previous experience as a board member and a strong passion to help move our district forward as we face future challenges. Ed has deep roots in our community, first as a 1984 graduate, then as a husband of Heidi, whom he met at Bellevue Elementary in fourth grade, now to a father of Ryon (Class of 2010), Allison (Class of 2012), and Kenneth who is currently a senior. Ed believes that our district is blessed to have an awesome team of administrators, educators, and support staff who all pull together to ensure our students have a strong educational foundation.
Christopher Birk joined our team in 2020, also filling a vacant position. He is married to a Bellevue alumni, Erika (Wolf) and has two children, Kyle and Zoey, who are currently in tenth and third grades. Chris became a board member because of his family’s love for our community. He believes that being a board member allows him to be an advocate for our community and its interests. Chris is most proud of the district’s resiliency. He knows that the staff, students, and parents have endured a tremendous amount of stress as we are navigating COVID this year. He sees that it is with everyone’s determination and preservice that this school year became possible.
Michael DeRyder just began his second term as a board member. Mike is a lifelong Bellevue resident and proud Bronco alumni. His voice is the loudest when it comes to advocating for our students. Whether that is for academics or extracurricular opportunities, Mike knows that his role as a board member helps cast the vision for each student to have every opportunity that they deserve in and out of our district.
Andrew Dixon has been a board member for several years and lives and breathes the essence of Bronco pride. As a lifelong resident of Bellevue, he believes that community service is essential to the survival of a community. Andy brings an educational perspective to the board with over 20 years of experience. Sabrina (wife), Amelia (eighth grade), and Evelyn (fourth grade) join his quest to ensure every Bellevue graduate has been adequately prepared for whatever they choose in life. Whether that is through their leadership in Girl Scouts or as members of BYRA, the Dixons are always serving our community.
Seth Madry is our newest board member, swearing in just a week ago. He chose to be a board member because he wants to be involved with his children’s education. With a very young family – Millie (Kindergarten), Emmett (second grade), and Connor (third grade) – Seth has many years ahead of him to help set the vision for our district. He and his wife, Sarah, have been active members of our Elementary PTSO and have been strong advocates for keeping our students face-to-face for instruction while navigating a global pandemic. Seth brings a passion for technical education opportunities for our students. We are fortunate to have his technical expertise on our team.
Linda Timmons and her husband, Mike, have lived in Bellevue for 36 years. Together they have two daughters, Alana Berthold and Briana Miller, that are proud Bellevue graduates. Their daughter, Briana, has continued to express her Bronco pride by being on staff as our district music teacher. Linda is a proud veteran that believes that if you aren’t part of the solution you are part of the problem. She holds a strong sense of responsibility as a board member to be informed and ever vigilant to keep our American heritage in our schools in order to provide students with the skills to discern and think critically about the barrage of information they receive.
Bill Waterbury has just started his third year as a board member. Bill and his wife, Chris, have lived in Bellevue since 1997. Together they have three sons that are proud Bellevue graduates – Nathan (2012), Garrett (2016), and Wyatt (2019). Bill has a strong passion for athletics. With his involvement in basketball with his sons, Bill brings a wealth of knowledge of the significance of the role athletics plays for our students.
I am honored to partner with these seven individuals as part of our balanced governance team. Bellevue Community Schools recognizes and appreciates their willingness to serve our students. Together, we are committed to continuing to strengthen our district in order to provide the highest quality education for each and every student that we are entrusted with.
Submitted by Katherin Mohney, BCS Superintendent