Christine Rockey sent a letter to parents and students early this morning announcing that she is stepping down as Portland High School Principal effective June 30,2020. Rockey informed High School staff of her decision on Monday.
“I’ve been thinking about retiring from public education for a little while now”, Rockey told the Beacon this afternoon. “I have two children, Ethan and Peyton, who are Portland students and I would just like to be their mom when I go to their school events and not the School Principal.”
Rockey has been PHS Principal for the past eleven years and was the Assistant Principal for nine years before that. She began her career as an Ionia High School teacher of Business and English. She then returned to the Flint area, where she grew up, to teach at Flint Carman-Ainsworth. However, her heart was with school administration. Christine earned a master’s degree in Educational Leadership and then earned another master’s degree in Labor and Industrial Relations. When she had an opportunity for Assistant Principal at Portland she did not hesitate to move back to Ionia County.
"I’ve really come to love the community, the students and the staff. This is not exactly how I wanted to leave (while the school is closed during the Coronavirus). I wanted to be able to give hugs and congratulations to the kids who are graduating. They are going to do great things!”
Rockey, who will turn 49-years-old tomorrow, is planning to take July and August off before deciding on her next professional adventure. She will be using the next two months focusing on an orderly transition for whomever replaces her.
Portland School Superintendent Will Heath told the Beacon, this afternoon, "It has been a pleasure to work with Christine over the past four years. She has made an impact on thousands of students over the years. Her every day drive and determination never wavered. You can always count on Christine to fight for a brighter future for our students and to support her staff. Her heart and passion for Portland is unquestioned. She has served the district well and will be missed as we make this transition."
Heath said that he will post the PHS Principal job opening tomorrow. Applications will be due on May 15th. Interviews will occur the last week of May/first week of June. A final decision will be made in June, pending approval by the School Board. The anticipated start date for the new Principal will be July 1st. The dates are tentative depending on if the stay at home order is extended.