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Green Elementary to be Renamed After Retiring Principal Kathy Sheiko

At the final West Bloomfield School District board of education meeting of the school year, the board surprised retiring principal Kathy Sheiko and just about everyone else with announcement of school's name change.

Kathy Sheiko thought that she was coming to the podium at the final West Bloomfield School District board of education meeting of the school year to accept a star certificate for her 26 years of service as principal.

The board surprised Sheiko as well as almost everyone in attendance at the packed meeting in the media center by moving to rename Green as Sheiko Elementary School.

"I drove to your building every morning for three children because … what I found was a loving environment with a principal who was at the front door, driving traffic … knowing the parents names, and knowing how to direct the parents out the door, including myself," said Vice President Bruce Tobin. "We all knew what the expectations were in your building and it went a long way. We have been the beneficiaries of 26 years of greatness."

Sheiko was stunned and thrilled, joined by family including her husband, Paul, and children.

“I have words prepared for my star award, but never in my wildest dreams did I ever believe that I would have so many wonderful people in the audience from my past and present,” Sheiko said amid tears. “To name the school after me just completely blows me away. It’s an honor that was certainly unexpected … and I am truly grateful.”

Catie June 14, 2011 at 12:59 PM
I'll always remember Mrs. Sheiko reminding us to clean up after ourselves in the lunchroom...one hand's a dustpan, the other a broom :)
Jeffrey Rosenthal June 14, 2011 at 11:02 PM
I remember her singing the Green School song that I believe she wrote to the tune of Beethoven's Ninth Symphony. And "The Principal excels too!" Congrats to Mrs. Sheiko! You've made an amazing difference in so many lives.
JustCurious June 17, 2011 at 04:31 AM
It's wonderful that she dedicated 25 years of her life to teaching, but isn't there a better way to spend the money it will take to change everything from Green Elementary School to Sheiko Elementary School? Not only does the sign out front and the letter "G" and building name need to be changed, but so do all pre-printed letters, etc. listing the schools, pens, pads of paper, t-shirts that are distributed at the school that have the name Green School on them. And isn't this also a principal that "retired" with a $70K loophole deal and came back as a consultant doing the same job? How honorary is that? (please correct me if I'm wrong on that) Why not rename the District Media Center the Sheiko Media Center instead?
Gregory Schroeder July 01, 2011 at 04:30 AM
For the record Jeffery, you can thank a an equally distinguished educator, Mrs. Schroeder for remembering Mrs. Sheiko singing the Green School anthem. That's because Mrs. Schroeder, a fourth grade teacher for most of her identical 26 years of service to Green School, penned the words to the Green School song back in the 1970's. And yes, I am proud to say Mrs. Schroeder is my mother.
Molly Rozycki July 15, 2011 at 05:51 PM
I am shocked and very saddened that the name "Green" will no longer be a part of the oldest school in the West Bloomfield district! The name came from the farmer (Green) of the land the school sits on, that he so generously donated in the 1800's. It was to honor HIM that the school was named Green. Should an honor be taken from one person to bestow it on another? I'm sure Mrs. Sheiko was a wonderful principle, but there must be another way to honor her. I like the idea someone mentioned about naming the Media Center after her. The residents of West Bloomfield should have a voice in this decision. It is OUR history!
Lori Hamilton July 20, 2011 at 07:16 PM
I just read about the name change of Green Elementary today in the WB Beacon. I wish they would have notified the taxpayers so that we could have had some input. I went to Green Elementary School for Kindergarten back in 1965 and feel that in no way should the name of the school be changed. I have nothing against Ms. Skeiko but those of us who attended the school should have had the chance to veto the name change. I'm very disappointed in how the school district handled this and their lack of respect for the Green family and all those who attended Green school. Green School is and always will be GREEN SCHOOL and should remain so.
MichiganWinter July 21, 2011 at 06:06 AM
This decision is just one more example of the poor judgement and misguided values of the WB Board and Administration. Renaming a school impacts generations of children and families who cherish memories of Green. It reflects a lack of respect for the rich history of West Bloomfield. And the decision not to seek the community's input about something as significant as changing a school's name shows a lack of respect for the residents. They rushed into this decision with little consideration or forethought. It is a shame that Mrs. Torbert was reprimanded for wanting to research and think this decision through. After a year of much tension, I feel that the Board and Administration should be less concerned with grandoise gestures and more concerned with re-building a school district that is rapidly ruining its once respectable reputation. Mrs. Sheiko was a wonderful principal and is deserving of many accolades but I disagree with naming a school after her. Are we setting a precedent? There are many principals (past and present) who dedicate 25+ years to a district. Will schools be named after them? Although if the last 2 years are any indication of what is to come, we won't have to worry about that. 7 out of 10 principals have left the district (many for lateral moves) in the past two years. The 7th left this summer. These leadership positions are critical to creating great schools and we're paying them to leave. It is sad to see a district falling apart.
Green & Doherty Alum July 24, 2011 at 06:09 AM
While Kathy was a very good principal and certainly worthy of a certificate of appreciation from the school board upon retirement, her role within the district and impact on the students of Green School do not merit the name change. The fact is Green School was already an exemplary school when Mrs. Sheiko left the Pontiac School District for "greener" pastures. The teachers she inherited were already doing a great job with the students; all Kathy needed to do was to keep the ship steady and that she did with aplomb. Remember, the mission of a school is to educate students, not administer them. It's the teachers who spend up to eight hours a day with students, thus their impact is much greater than the few minutes a week an administrator at the elementary level may actually talk to a student. While the name change is probably inevitable as it will be difficult to change the minds of six school board members, it should be remembered that decisions made under the guise of darkness like this name change will probably reap negative consequences. Indeed the likelihood of negative public reaction to a proposed name change would have emerged and thus the name change probably tabled for the summer. In that way, those wanting to rename the school could have researched the issue and discover that the Green family descendants would be against it, along with almost all of those who attended Green School up to Kathy's tenure. We can hope for a change Let's hope for change!
susan williams August 17, 2011 at 07:09 PM
The Hartwell Green family has had in WB since 1824. The "Green School" name has followed three buildings as a tribute to the contribution the Green family made to the educational system in WB. To dismiss that distinct history of WB is unbelievable, especially coming from the school board. I hope the decision will be withdrawn for further study and input from the community. Susan Williams, West Bloomfield
Middlebelt and Walnut August 18, 2011 at 03:24 PM
Wow. My heart sank when I heard this. I'm pretty sure the WB school board has more pressing matters to attend to - like how to fix an ailing school district that was once one of the top. Instead, they are busying themselves with the art of playing politics and kissing ass. No wonder MI is falling apart... no common sense. What are tax dollars going to?!!? A truly gracious woman would have said "thanks but I can't accept this"... wishful thinking I know. GREEN ELEMENTARY FOREVER.
Middlebelt and Walnut August 18, 2011 at 03:26 PM
... touche.
T. Plaunt September 04, 2011 at 01:57 PM
I'm very disappointed the school was renamed. As a past student of Green Elementary, living far out of state, I was able to return to West Bloomfield. I gave my kids to tour of the city and was shocked to find my school renamed. This is wonderful for the current generation, but what about the past students that attended Green. You could have honored her another way. How about a nice large plaque like the sports hall of fame? West Bloomfield is a fantastic school district with many, many great employees and plenty had more than 26 years experience. I'm sure they influenced as many kids lives! I'm glad I'm not a descendent of the Green family that donated the land. I'm very disappionted. So disappointed and kind of upset.
T. Plaunt September 04, 2011 at 01:58 PM
Amen
T. Plaunt September 04, 2011 at 01:59 PM
I remember Mrs. Schroeder. I loved her and hope she was "given a building"!
jeff September 06, 2011 at 10:16 PM
Why not buy her a watch?
Matthew September 08, 2011 at 07:14 PM
Mrs. Sheiko is great and all, but why was this name change done with out any sort of participation/vote from the public. I'm really not in favor of this name change, its kind of weird and seems very unprofessional the way it all happened. Its as the board was in their own little world and thought the 1,000's of kids that went there and their families didn't matter, plus there is an actual history and reason the school has been called Green School. Very little respect from the board. This guy Bruce Tobin doesn't sound like the most aware individual to be a part of the board.

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