Phone: (616) 786-2050

Board of Education

Meet the Board

Please use this EMAIL link to contact the Board of Education.

The primary function of the Board of Education is to oversee the education of people in our community. The Board is responsible for establishing and implementing all district policies and procedures required to maintain an excellent educational program for all students in a safe, secure learning environment. These policies and procedures guide the Superintendent and staff in their daily duties.

This is a photo of board member Lynn Rutan This is a photo of board member Kate McCoy This is a photo of board member Darrin Duistermars  
Lynn Rutan
Term expires 2020
Kate McCoy
Vice President
Term expires 2018
Darrin Duistermars
Term expires 2018
This is a photo of board member Cathy Lebster This is a photo of board member Sue McKanna This is a photo of board member Randy Schipper
Cathy Lebster
Term expires 2020
Sue McKanna
Term expires 2018
Randy Schipper
Term expires 2018
Tyson Smith
(Appointed through
Nov. 2018 election)
Term expires 2020

The Board is ultimately responsible for all classroom curricula, extracurricular programs, district budget, staff hiring, property acquisitions and sales, legal transactions, and school elections. It is the Board’s responsibility to express the district’s needs to the public and to convey public views to the district.

Board responsibilities also include:

  • Setting educational & fiscal West Ottawa Board of Education goals goals for the district
  • Hiring & evaluating the Superintendent of Schools
  • Approving courses, textbooks, & instructional materials
  • Levying school taxes & overseeing expenditures
  • Submitting bond issues for voter approval for construction and/or renovation of school facilities
  • Negotiating with employee groups regarding contract terms & determining matters related to staff
  • Maintaining schools & district property

As public officials, Board members are active and visible throughout the community. However, the Board acts officially only as a group. Individual Board members acting on their own have no legal authority to act on behalf of the Board.

Michigan law delegates authority to local board members to carry out the state’s educational obligations. The Board is responsible to you and all district residents.

The Board of Education has final control over school district matters. All policies established must be consistent with federal statutes and laws governing public education in the State of Michigan, including the Revised School Code.

Board members provide a community service and receive no compensation.


West Ottawa Board of Education

Standards of Practice

In order to provide outstanding leadership and best serve the students of West Ottawa Public Schools, we, the Board of Education, commit to the following Standards of Practice:

  • Ensuring that our mission to prepare students to be college, career and life ready is the basis for all of our decisions;
  • Operating with the highest ethical standards;
  • Working collaboratively & communicating respectfully;
  • Demonstrating confidentiality, transparency and trust with each other at all times;
  • Addressing Board matters in a timely and appropriate manner;
  • Speaking as one governance team through our Board President;
  • Fulfilling our appropriate governance team roles and committing to ongoing improvement.

Adopted April 24, 2017

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