McBain teacher reflects on her duties

January 28, 2016

Kim VanderVlucht, the current principal at McBain  Elementary School.

Kim VanderVlucht, the current principal at McBain
Elementary School.

By John Raffel

Kim VanderVlucht has worn many hats in the McBain School District and has enjoyed each one.

Currently, VanderVlucht is principal at McBain Elementary School, grades K-6. She previously was middle school principal. She’s been a principal for eight years overall and in education for 28 years. She’s been in McBain since 1996.

Prior to that, she was a paraprofessional at Cadillac Schools, where she was from 1985 to 1993. She then picked up her college degree in teaching in 1995 at Central Michigan University and began in McBain a year later as a teacher, and later became Title I director and later K-12 curriculum director.

VanderVlucht is a 1982 Cadillac graduate.

As an elementary school principal, “there’s so many things that go on here,” VanderVlucht said. “But one of them is when I was a middle school principal, it’s a different time and I enjoyed it. In the elementary, it’s when (the students) first start their public school education, other than preschool. We’re getting them so young. We have an opportunity to teach them to read, and that’s my area of expertise also.

I had taught Title 1 reading for many years. I’ve enjoyed teaching them to read, and the different phases of reading from when they’re very little in kindergarten and learning letters, up to sixth grade where they’re reading in a complex way to learn the information they need to have and the contrasting information, and the research and up to that level. I’ve really enjoyed that about the job. But I just love little kids. I miss the middle schoolers. I love kids in general.”

VanderVlucht has children and is also a grandmother. Her husband (Dewey) and his parents graduated from McBain.

“One of the biggest challenges is the expectations brought upon the teachers at this time from a lot of government interference has made their job so difficult in many ways,” she said. “With that, I have to struggle with morale. They’ve made it so difficult to do what we do. There’s so much more paperwork, there’s so many more hoops to jump through, and easily could keep me in my office all day everyday. That’s not why I became a teacher and administrator. I want to be out with the kids and out with the teachers being involved in their lives. But there’s so much paperwork that’s expected of us now. It’s actually very sad. It’s taking away from the children.”

In her sparetime, VanderVluct and her husband own a business involved in farm services and enjoy traveling.

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