PPHS principal to retire at year’s end

By: 
Paul Garrod - news4garrod@vineayrdpress.biz
MICHAEL DAHLINGER
	Courier-Leader photo/Paul Garrod

    PAW PAW - Calling it the right position at the right time, Paw Paw High School Principal Mike Dahlinger, following 25 years in education, with the past 12 years as principal at Paw Paw High School, will retire at the end of the month.
    But his retirement will be short-lived, as he has accepted a position as Administrator for Collaborative  Partnerships, with Michigan Virtual, an online education company for schools in Michigan. It is based in Lansing.
    According to Dahlinger, Michigan Virtual’s mission is to provide blended and online learning innovations to the classroom.  Dahlinger will be working with individual school districts and intermediate school districts, building their capacity for online and blended learning, as well as professional development for educators.
    Dahlinger said there are currently approximately 75 students taking 130 on-line classes at Paw Paw High School through Michigan Virtual.
    Dahlinger said that he is very proud of the academic culture that has developed at Paw Paw during his tenure.
    “Our teachers are working collaboratively with each other.  We have a culture of excellence, high standards and doing whatever is needed to make sure our students succeed,” said Dah-linger. “We have had a great deal of success raising the rigor and that has been proven with our rising test scores and the college success of our students.”
    Paw Paw Public Schools has been featured in the AP Honor Roll from the College Board for the past five out of six years, and has been named as a US News and World Report Silver and Bronze Medalist school on multiple occasions. “We have created a culture here of family working together for the betterment of the kids,” said  Dahlinger.
    In addition to the awards and accolades, PPHS has implemented technology initiatives becoming a 1:1 building; has undergone building projects, including the addition of a new wing, weight room; and reconfiguring classrooms in 2007.
    The high school has also seen an increase in Honors and Advanced Placement classes, implemented Professional Learning Communities, and changed the daily schedule to provide individualized learning during the day.
    Dahlinger said as his two children are getting older - both will be middle schoolers at Mattawan, and the new position will allow him to spend more time with them.  “This job can be all-consuming. It’ll be nice to have more family time,” said Dahlinger. He and his wife will continue to reside in the area.
    “I’m excited for the challenge to do something new. I’ve enjoyed my time here. The high school teachers and staff have been some of the greatest people that I’ve had the pleasure to work with,” said Dahlinger. “I’ll miss them and the daily interactions with students.”
    Paw Paw School District is expected to fill Dahlinger’s position by the end of the month.

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