My name is Gary van Staveren, and I am honored to be the new principal of Hamlin Elementary School. I am excited to be part of such a long and rich school history. This will be my 16th year in education where I have been a cross-country and track coach, a math and science teacher for eight years and an asst. principal or principal for the past seven years. Most recently I was an elementary principal in the Royal Oak district. I am a life-long learner and hold degrees in Business and Education, a Master’s in Educational Technology, an Educational Specialist degree and am currently working on my Ph.D. in Educational Leadership from Oakland University.
I am married to my wonderful and supportive wife Erin who has served as a rehabilitation counselor working primarily with people with disabilities for the past 10 years and will be completing law school from University of Detroit Mercy this December. We have lived here in Rochester Hills since 2009.
The learning community of Hamlin Elementary is one of excellence, collaboration, support, and caring. You, as the parent/guardian, are the personal cheerleader of your child or children. It is imperative we work together and that we have your support and help in your child’s or children’s education. We, as a professional learning community, are fully committed to working tirelessly to meet the needs of each and every child at Hamlin and provide academic experiences that are rigorous and relevant in a fun and nurturing environment. Parent involvement and engagement is a primary factor for a child’s success in school.
I encourage you to maintain open communication with your son/daughter’s teacher; first and foremost. Secondly, I encourage you to get involved by volunteering to work in the classroom, chaperone field trips, and/or become a member of the PTA. As the new leader of Hamlin, this inherently brings about opportunity for various beginnings. However, it is also important to recognize and remember the long-time leadership of Mr. Cornish. I look forward to meeting you and the students in the coming weeks. I look forward to building a relationship that is focused on doing what’s best for kids! In closing, when we ALL work together, collaborate, and maintain open communication as a learning community the children of Hamlin Elementary will learn, grow, and soar!