Snyder resigns from TK board; Possible Hinton replacement

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For the third time in seven months, a member of the Thornapple Kellogg school board has resigned.

Alexis Snyder, who has served on the board since 2015, submitted her resignation letter to Acting Superintendent Craig McCarthy and fellow board members on January 4. Snyder’s resignation took effect Tuesday.

“Over the past six years, I have learned so much about our wonderful school district, school governance, and school finances,” Snyder wrote in his letter. “I learned about people and I learned a lot about myself. I wish you the best and thank you for your continued dedication to the district and our community, and especially to the students and staff of this very special school system.

The letter did not explain the reason for Snyder’s resignation and she declined to comment further after Monday’s board meeting.

Snyder’s resignation follows the resignation of two other board members in 2021. First, Sarah Alden stepped down in June after serving three years on the board. In September, Kristen Cove, then chair of the board, resigned after serving six years on the board. The resignations came amid a turbulent time when the district tried to negotiate the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic, as some parents asked the district to leave decisions such as wearing masks to parents.

On Monday, the board decided to use a different process to close an opening than it did after the resignations of Alden and Cove. The board asked Chairman Matt Powers to contact the finalist candidate for the interview process in October 2021, when Jake Welch was nominated to replace Cove.

Powers reached out to Allison Hinton, who ranked second in a poll of board members after the October interviews, on Tuesday morning to see if she would be interested in serving. Hinton said yes.

The board is expected to appoint Hinton, who has served as community outreach director for the Barry County YMCA since 2017, on Monday. The special meeting, which will also include the board’s interview of Craig McCarthy to be TK’s next superintendent, will begin at 6 p.m. . in room 1616 at Thornapple Kellogg Middle School, 10375 Green Lake Road.

Hinton’s planned appointment was made possible by a board decision in October to change its policy for filling vacancies, allowing the board to review candidates who had interviewed for a previous opening if the new vacancy occurred within six months of the previous opening. Hinton said she was aware of the policy change when she was contacted by Powers about being offered the board seat.

In her role with the YMCA, Hinton worked closely with the four Barry County school districts to develop and bring to life the B. Bus Mobile Library, a school bus converted into a library on wheels. She also launched a program to provide 4,000 meals and 4,000 snacks to local schools after they closed in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic. In an interview Wednesday morning, Hinton reiterated earlier statements from his October interview about his concerns for the TK community.

“I’m very concerned about the state of our community and I think we need to find common ground,” Hinton said. “We all have different beliefs, different ways of raising our children, of teaching our children. We have to find a way to unite. »

Hinton previously served four years on the school board for the Hunt Independent School District in Texas, about 80 miles northwest of San Antonio, from 2010 to 2014, resigning when she moved to Middleville.

Hinton was the first choice of two of six board members in October interviews. Snyder was one of the two who favored Hinton, while trustee Anne Hamming was the other.

“She has a depth of experience which I think will serve us very well, to be able to start,” Hamming said at the time. “I was particularly struck by his ease, his poise, his ease in interacting with us. She didn’t seem nervous.

Snyder was named to TK’s board of directors in April 2015 and then ran unopposed for election in November 2016. Hinton will serve the remainder of Snyder’s six-year term, who will be elected in November.

Hamming praised Snyder’s service to the board in comments ahead of the vote to accept the resignation.

“She is very low-key in board meetings, but when all seven of us have to sit down as a board to discuss things, there is no one more active at the board table than ‘Alexis,” Hamming said. “She keeps us focused, she gets us focused, she puts us on a mission, and when Alexis speaks, we listen. I think we are listening to him more carefully.

Powers echoed Hamming’s sentiments.

“Alexis is soft-spoken by nature and provides a calm presence wherever she is,” he said. “I have known her for a long time. I really enjoyed working with her on the school board. She reads and studies situations. It processes the information…and develops an articulated response. His demeanor and experience will be missed on the Board as we move forward.

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