Portland Board of Education Unanimously Approves New PHS Principal
Jamie DeWitt will be the new Portland High School Principal beginning July 1, 2020. She replaces long-time Principal Christine Rockey who announced her retirement in April.
DeWitt who currently lives in Grand Ledge told the Beacon today that she is very honored and excited to have been chosen as Principal. “My family is now part of the Raider family”, she told the Beacon. DeWitt, who until today was the Administrator of the Nextech Charter School in Okemos, has three young boys-Liam who is ten, Elliott who is eight, and Caleb who is six. All three will enroll in Portland Schools for the fall. “I love the feel I have gotten about this community and our family fully intends to embrace it”, DeWitt shared. DeWitt’s husband Nate is a full-time member of the Michigan National Guard and is currently deployed in the Mideast. Jamie said, “He will be fully outfitted in Raider gear by the time he returns!”
Jamie grew up in Caledonia and earned bachelor’s degrees in Mathematics and Music Education at Aquinas College. She also holds a master’s degree in educational leadership from Michigan State University. DeWitt began her teaching career and taught for five years in Charlotte where she also was the varsity track coach.
DeWitt then spent six years working for the Michigan Virtual On-Line School. This has given her significant experience with on-line education. When asked about the pandemic and its impact on public education DeWitt told the Beacon, “The pandemic was a crisis. Schools did the best they could possibly do, with what they had to work with, with absolutely no notice. It wasn’t ideal. Now we must look at how to embrace the opportunity of this crisis and move forward to deliver what is right for our kids and I’m looking forward to doing just that.”
Superintendent William Heath told the Beacon, "We are really excited to have Jamie join our team. Our hiring process for the High School Principal was the most thorough and rigorous process that I have ever completed on a hire. Jamie did an excellent job through all stages of the process. Her passion for education, building quality and productive relationships, and desire to be a Portland Raider stood out to the committee. She brings to Portland the experience needed for a smooth transition and wealth of knowledge in the blended education world. As we go into next year her experiences will help the entire district prepare for many different start up scenarios."
Editor's Note: The quote from William Heath was added to this piece approximately 30 minutes after it was originally posted.