When Dr. David Harnish became the superintendent for Michigan’s Martin Public Schools, he had a rather large job ahead of him. Nowadays, he’s not only the superintendent of the schools, but the principal of the high school as well as the junior high school. That’s like being the owner of a franchise, as well as the manager of two of the stores!
Dr. Harnish is a busy man.
As superintendent (not to mention principal(s)!), Dr. Harnish faces many regular challenges in his extensive responsibilities. Leading teachers, students and a variety of staff as well as the school grounds is no mean feat, and takes a person with compassion, kindness to stay on top of it all.
Dr. Harnish works hard not just for how his school looks on paper, but for the people between its walls.
When one woodworking teacher’s hours were cut down to save money, Harnish restored his full-time status. It seems that Dr. David Harnish rules not just with his head, but with his heart. And apparently…a paintbrush!
One year, hope came in the form of money.
At the close of the year Martin High School was awarded $18 million to go towards upgrades to the school grounds and buildings. Needing a new gym and auditorium, this was great news for the school. The price for a fresh coat of paint however, was going to cost them approximately $150,000 to be done professionally. Not one to roll over, Dr. Harnish stepped up to the plate himself.
Harnish’s determination is his greatest lesson.
Taking on 90 hour work weeks, the superintendent and principal picked up the brushes himself and set to work over the summer. Where many in his position may have been content to take the summer months off to unwind, David Harnish picked up the varnish.
An extreme paint-over!
Each room got a new coat under the diligent hands of the school’s own principal, along with a team of helpers. Along with Harnish to do the job was a squad of senior students looking for work over the summer. Not only did Dr. Harnish save on the money spent to do the job, but he was able to give the students a financial hand in doing so!
So where did the extra money go?
The light at the end of Harnish’s tunnel came when he retired in 2019.
Vice President, Vince Tuinstra spoke highly of Dr. Harnish.
Tuinstra told Town Broadcast that he had been through four superintendents, but of them all, Dr. Harnish by far worked the hardest:
“Dr. Harnish brought life back to the community and district. David has been a visionary for the district. The solar project happened because of David, the curriculum happened because of David, and the bond project happened because of David. He helped get us to the next level.”
Watch the full video below to see Dr. Harnish’s hard work pay off!
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This West Michigan school superintendent spent long hours over the summer painting the halls of his school to save $150,000. "That (money) would have taken away from our kids or the potential for us to take care of our staff." Full story here: http://via.wxmi.com/ACHdP
Posted by FOX 17 on Monday, August 13, 2018