Can you believe it’s been seven years? We were brand new to the area, but Buchanan community members quickly made us feel welcome. We have made many friends and acquaintances over the years. Thank you for opening your doors to us.
When I arrived in the district in August 2010, I was told we were going to pass a $30 million dollar millage! It took three tries and a lot of community support, and, in the end, we passed a $15 million dollar millage. What a beautiful building our Middle School turned out to be! Our Ottawa Early Childhood building has a new kindergarten wing, has been repainted, is slowly adding new playground equipment and has a new parking lot. We would not have managed this and several other projects without the support of our community. Thank you!
In addition, we have been able to pass a sinking fund millage, repair facilities, replace some roofs, rework our budgets, purchase new resources for our teachers, improve student achievement, build relationships with our unions and negotiate contracts.
We opened the Buchanan Virtual School, the Step Up Program and a virtual Adult Education Program! We have expanded our Career Technical Education programs to include a Culinary Academy, Cosmetology School, an Automotive Academy, and coming this fall, the opening of a dental school.
Who could forget MHSSA competitions, the HERD, our Junior Bucks and our Little Bucks? They are now part of our culture. Our Athletic teams are making us very proud, and we have had several athletic upgrades just this year. Buck Pride and the branding of the district are underway. We couldn’t have done it without our Community, our Board of Education, our Administration and our staff!
I also want to thank our Board of Education, our administrative team and our staff for their unwavering support as we worked our way through the many changes that have occurred in Buchanan Community Schools. We have totally reorganized the district!
It’s been a wonderful seven years! I couldn’t have asked for a better place to end my educational career. I will officially retire on August 31. In the meantime, I will work alongside Mr. Timothy Donahue, our new Buchanan Superintendent from July 5 until the end of August. Our goal is to have a smooth transition.
I wish you the very best. I will forever be a Buck!
Dr. Andrea van der Laan