SPARTA, Mich. — Gordon “Gordie” Nickels has been selected as the Sparta superintendent by a unanimous vote of the Sparta Area Schools Board of Education.
Nickels, an assistant superintendent at Byron Center Public Schools, was among five candidates interviewed for the position. He was selected following a series of interviews with community stakeholders and the school board on Tuesday, June 18. The other finalist for the position was Plymouth-Canton Community Schools Assistant Superintendent Philip Freeman.
Board President Warren Hill said the Sparta Board “felt he had his finger on Sparta’s pulse,” and board member Amanda VanStrien said “he has a heart for kids.”
Nickels was a building administrator and curriculum director in Caledonia before accepting the assistant superintendent position in Byron Center. He began his career as a teacher and coordinator in Kentwood. He earned both his master’s and bachelor’s degrees in education from Western Michigan University.
The five candidates interviewed for the position were Sparta Middle School Principal Joel Stoner, Boyne Falls Public Schools Superintendent Karen Sherwood and Charles Muncatchy, who had served as superintendent of several districts, including Memphis, West Ottawa and Mount Clemens in Michigan.