Hein pulls double duty

RC superintendent also middle/high school principal

News Photo by Julie Goldberg Rogers City Elementary School Principal Steve Kowalski, left, and Rogers City Area Schools Superintendent Nick Hein discuss the district’s student handbook on Friday.

ROGERS CITY — Nick Hein has spent the past 14 months wearing two hats at Rogers City Area Schools.

When the 2019-20 school year starts in a few weeks, Hein, 36, will enter his second school year as district superintendent, but also his third school year as middle/high school principal. He said Friday it would be impossible to do both roles if he didn’t have people around him to work with.

“You have to rely on other people. You can’t be an actual micromanager, you have to rely on the people around you,” Hein said. “We are probably one of the only Class C schools that has this arrangement.”

Being in both roles saves the district approximately $110,000 to $120,000, Hein said, and that’s money that can be saved and go back to the students.

Hein, who was hired as superintendent by the district Board of Education in June 2018, said he’s surrounded by great people every day and every problem is solved with help from other people, not just him figuring it out on his own.

“There’s never an alone factor with the job,” Hein said.

Rogers City Elementary School Principal Steve Kowalski said he’s known Hein since they were children and they’re on the same page educationally as well as how they handle adverse situations in the schools.

“I’m looking forward to working with Mr. Hein for many years to come,” Kowalski said. “Our school is heading in a great direction overall.”

The biggest challenge of being a school superintendent, Hein said, is trying to convey the fact that there are great people who work in the district and letting the community know those people have their children’s best interests in mind.

“It’s making sure the community knows that the people that work here are good and that we’re doing the best with the resources we have and staying on top of that,” Hein said.

On the other hand, Hein said the best part about being a superintendent is being in a position where changes can be made.

Hein has worked to add more class periods so students can take more classes. With adding more class periods in the school day, the district has brought several new classes this upcoming school year: personal fitness, botany/zoology, life skills and critical thinking, and psychology/sociology.

“We’re trying to make this the best positive place it can be and small things go a long way in doing that,” Hein said.

Julie Goldberg can be reached at 989-358-5688 or jgoldberg@thealpenanews.com. Follow her on Twitter @jkgoldberg12.