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Romain is new middle school principal

CLINTON TOWNSHIP – Clintondale Middle School will have a new leader for the 2022-23 academic year.

On June 13, the Clintondale Community School District’s board of education appointed veteran educator Maria Romain as the new principal at the middle school. Romain, who has been the assistant principal at Clintondale High School for the past 2 ½ months, will switch roles with former middle school principal Maurice Woods. The move was recommended by Superintendent Rodriguez Broadnax at the board’s last general meeting.

Romain, who had been a secondary instructional coach since joining the Macomb County district in April 2019, has 13 years of experience in education. Prior to Clintondale, she juggled roles as math instructor at The Engineering Society of Detroit (2017-20); dean of students at Macomb Christian School (2018-19); and academic coach at ATS Educational Services (2019-21). She’s also worked at Macomb Community College (2016-18), Parkway Christian Schools (2011-15), and Eastpointe Schools (2002-05).
 

Romain and Woods will start their new assignments on July 1.

“I am happy to recommend Mrs. Romain for the principal position at Clintondale Middle School,” Broadnax said. “She will do a fine job. But I told her she has to hit the ground running over there. Middle school can be a challenge, grade six through eight. Sometimes they want to be a baby and sometimes they want to be grown, and I have one over there right now. But he is going to the high school next year. I told her that I need her to get in there and get going. I am happy to recommend her. She has done a wonderful job as an instructional coach and then as the assistant principal at the high school. I call her and (chief academic officer) Heather Halpin the dynamic duo. We’re certainly happy to have the both of them in the district.”

Romain is the fourth principal at the middle school since the 2019-20 school year, following Ira Hamden, Timothy Baldwin, and Woods. Hamden died in June 2020.

During the June 13 board meeting, Romain thanked several individuals, including high school principal Meloney Cargill.

“Thank you to the board of education and to Mr. Broadnax for appointing me to this position,” Romain said. “I do want to say that I thoroughly enjoyed my time – although it was a short time – at the high school as assistant principal. We have an amazing staff. I enjoyed working with each and every one of you. Moving over to the middle school has nothing to do with me being unhappy at the high school. I was thoroughly happy. I just want to make that clear. I also want to thank Meloney Cargill for her mentorship, her support, her encouragement. We make a really good team and we’re going to continue to collaborate.”

During the board meeting, there was some confusion by some of the trustees as to whether Broadnax could make the recommendation. Trustee Stacy Kubbe asked that a decision on the administrator appointments be tabled to the next general meeting. But after consulting with the board’s attorney earlier in the day, board secretary Michael Scott said, “(Broadnax) has the right to assignment and he can put an administrator where he feels the person is necessary.”

Board treasurer Jeremy Schnaidt was quick to endorse the new middle school appointee.

“I’m just very excited about Maria,” he said. “The teachers have a great respect for her and I think she will do amazing things at the middle school.”

On Thursday, the final day of school in the district, Broadnax introduced Romain to 15 middle school teachers and support staff gathered in the school’s music room.

Romain has a bachelor’s degree in secondary education from Wayne State University and a master’s in the art of teaching from Marygrove College.

During Thursday’s introduction, she was quick to spell out her expectations for next year and beyond.

“We owe our students our very best. If we give them anything less than we failed them,” she said. “Whenever you bring things to me I’m always going to look at it through the lens of, ‘Is this the best decision for the student?’ I will always point you back to that, so I want you to get used to that because ultimately that’s why we’re here. If they’re not here then there’s no purpose for us to be here.

“I will finish out my (assistant principal) role on June 30, however, I’m going to be here throughout the summer. I tend to be a workaholic. I can’t turn it off. I know some of you have reached out and said that you’re willing to come in during the summer. That’s not something that I require. But I appreciate it if you do. I want to go on record, I am not saying you have to come in over the summer. That is not a mandate at all. But if you are willing to come in I appreciate it because I will be here. This is a team effort. A one-man show? No, we won’t get it done that way. I have some ideas and you guys have some ideas. I’m one to prioritize, so we may not get to everything, but we’re going to get to the most important things first.”