Rick Couturier has been hired as the new Head of School for Old Mission Peninsula School (OMPS). I caught up with him yesterday in the school cafeteria, where he chatted and joked with students like he’d been there forever.
“It’s a great community, and I’m really excited to be here,” he said.
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Rick said relocating to Lake Leelanau was a dream come true for he and his wife, Elizabeth, and they jumped at the chance to purchase his great grandparent’s farm.
“Coming home to Leelanau allowed us to reconnect with our family throughout the region, adding richness to our life,” he wrote in a letter to the OMPS community. “Now, I am excited to embark on a new adventure and build new ties to the OMPS community as the new Head of School for OMPS.”
He and Elizabeth are native Michiganders who’ve spent summers in the Traverse City area. Before retiring, Elizabeth served as an occupational therapist at Heartwood School, a center-based program in Ingham County.
They have three adult children. Their eldest, Spencer, is a physician completing his radiology residency at Stanford University in Palo Alto, California. Spencer’s wife Amy is a practicing pediatrician. They will be moving to Traverse City next summer with their three-year-old daughter Sahana.
Rick and Elizabeth also have twin daughters. Anne, a special education teacher at Charlotte High School, lives with her boyfriend, Stephen Bowers, in Gull Lake Michigan.
Their other twin daughter, Elizabeth, is a Doctor of Physical Therapy at Holland Hospital, and her husband Josh works with Hope College in turf management. Elizabeth and Josh live in Zeeland.
Before becoming involved in education, Rick owned and operated Lansing Golf Center, serving as a PGA Golf Professional. He also worked for Xerox Corporation as a marketing representative based in the Detroit area.
Rick started his teaching career in 2002, working as a high school history teacher in Holt Public Schools. After four years, he was promoted to assistant principal at Holt High School, and after a successful three-year run, he was hired as the principal of Washington Woods Middle School, where he served for five years.
For the past five years, he’s worked for the Ingham Intermediate School District as an Academic Consultant, Regional Education Evaluation Coordinator, and as a School Improvement Facilitator.
“I’ve worn many hats and served in many environments throughout my career, and I am excited to share this knowledge and experience with my staff and the families of OMPS,” he said. “Together, we’ll work to ensure that our school fulfills its mission of providing our families and students with unparalleled opportunities.”
After a thorough search and careful consideration, the Old Mission Peninsula School Board recommended Rick for the position to their Educational Service Provider, Black Pearl, who vetted the board’s recommendation and extended an offer for the position last Friday.
The Board’s recommendation was made with feedback from teachers, school board members, parents, key advisers and the current Interim Head of School, Erica Walsh.
“We would like to express our appreciation as we worked through this process for the support we received from families and friends as well as our authorizer Grand Valley State University, the National Charter School Institute and Black Pearl,” the Board noted in a letter to the OMPS community.