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Griebling grad named school’s new vice principal

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HOWELL – The Howell K-8 School District Board of Education has appointed Shawn Levinson to the position of vice principal/supervisor at the Griebling School, which educates children in kindergarten through second grade.

Levinson grew up in Howell and graduated from the Griebling School in 1994, when the building was a K-8 facility. He and his fellow students were the final eighth grade class to graduate from an elementary school before district administrators opened a new middle school.

Levinson has been employed by the Jackson School District for more than a decade. He said returning to Griebling as vice principal “is really a surreal experience.”

“I am excited to get a chance to be back in a place where I have such fond memories and great experiences, and I am really just grateful and blessed for the opportunity,” Levinson said.

Levinson will replace Dorothea Fernandez, who will become the district’s supervisor of special education.

At the board’s July 12 meeting, Tim O’Brien, Dr. Denise Lowe, MaryRose Malley, Cristy Mangano and Al Miller voted to approve Levinson’s appointment. Mark Bonjavanni, Laurence Gurman, Jim Moretti and Angel Sanchez abstained on the vote.

During the same meeting, board members appointed Sanchez to fill the seat left vacant by Jeanne DePompo, who is moving out of Howell and resigned effective July 5.

Residents Robert Smith, Ira Thor, Amy Cores, Kelly Machu and Sanchez applied for the appointment and were interviewed by the board. Sanchez was tapped to fill the vacant seat.

Thor and Sanchez both ran for seats on the board in 2016 election, but were not elected.

O’Brien thanked all of the candidates for stepping up on short notice and for their willingness to give back to their community.

On a motion to appoint Sanchez to the board, O’Brien, Bonjavanni, Gurman, Lowe, Malley, Miller and Moretti voted yes. Mangano voted no.

Ron Sanasac, the district’s business administrator and board secretary, swore in Sanchez immediately following the vote. Sanchez took his seat on the board, but abstained from voting for the rest of the meeting.

“It feels great” to be appointed, Sanchez said. “I have been involved with the district since my son and my daughter started school here. I have regularly attended board meetings and was involved in the community, not only on an educational level, but with athletics and activities around town as a scout leader, a football coach and a basketball coach. I am involved in a lot of things and I really enjoy it.”

Sanchez was appointed to serve for the remainder of 2017 and said he plans to run for the remaining year (2018) that is left in DePompo’s term. That one-year term will be on the Nov. 7 ballot, along with three three-year terms on the school board.

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