Avondale School District, an achievement-oriented learning community focused on student leadership and success in academics, the arts and athletics, announces that Dr. James Schwarz has been unanimously selected by the Board of Education to serve as Avondale's new superintendent. Schwarz is currently Assistant Superintendent for Curriculum & Instruction and Chief Academic Officer for Oxford Community Schools. He replaces Dr. George Heitsch, who left Avondale June 30 to serve as superintendent of Farmington Public Schools.
Dr. Schwarz will begin his new position with Avondale on Sept. 25. Dr. Rick Repicky will continue serving as Avondale's interim superintendent until that time. Avondale Board of Education President Sean Johnson welcomes Dr. Schwarz to the district.
"Avondale is more than just a community, we are a family. A family with a history of achievement," Johnson said. "Dr. Schwarz has the leadership skills and ability to guide Avondale to increased success as a district, putting our students first while navigating the financial challenges that face Michigan school districts."
Dr. Schwarz is enthusiastic about joining the Avondale community.
"I am honored to be appointed superintendent of Avondale, where I will work collectively with the entire Avondale educational community to create a vision that will strengthen student opportunities and continue to build on Avondale's solid foundation for their future," Dr. Schwarz said.
Prior to his tenure in administration at Oxford, Dr. Schwarz was principal at Oxford's Clear Lake Elementary from 1998 to 2005. He also served as an assistant principal at Keith Elementary in Walled Lake Consolidated Schools from 1996 to 1998 and was an elementary teacher at Keith from 1994 to 1996. Dr. Schwarz holds a Ph.D. in educational leadership, an educational specialist degree (Ed. S.) in educational leadership, a Masters degree in curriculum, instruction and leadership (M.Ed.) and a Bachelor of Science degree in elementary education, all from Oakland University. While pursuing his M.Ed. at Oakland University, Dr. Schwarz served as a graduate assistant for the department of curriculum, instruction and leadership.
Dr. Schwarz and his wife Shari are residents of Oxford and have three children. He enjoys multiple outdoor activities, including hiking, biking, kayaking and fishing.