New SHS principal named

Jason Longbrake, seen speaking at the 2015 Swanton High School graduation ceremony, will take over as principal at the school this year.

There will be a change at the top for a pair of Swanton schools this fall. Both Swanton High School and Swanton Middle School will have a new principal, though they are not new faces in the district.

At a special meeting on Friday, the Swanton Board of Education approved the resignation of Swanton High School principal Steve Gfell, effective July 31. They then approved a two-year contract to hire Jason Longbrake as the new principal by a 4-0 vote. Kris Oberheim was not at the meeting.

Longbrake has accepted the contract and signed, according to Swanton Superintendent Jeff Schlade. The contract runs from Aug. 1, 2015, to July 31, 2017, and pays the new principal of salary of $84,000 per year.

Longbrake, a former history teacher, and most recently a Swanton Virtual Academy instructor, had originally planned on becoming principal of Cory-Rawson High School for the upcoming school year. He gave a heartfelt keynote address at the Swanton High School graduation in June.

Gfell nearly resigned in May before deciding to stay on as principal. He offered his resignation to the board of education contingent on taking the position of EMIS/Maintenance Supervisor.

The board offered a one-year contract for the position, which he did not accept, leaving Gfell as planned principal for 2015-16 at the time.

Gfell will be headed to Blissfield, Mich., where he is already listed as the principal on the district website.

At the middle school, Matt Smith will be taking over for Ted Haselman as principal. Smith was previously the middle school’s dean of students.

Haselman will become superintendent of Pike-Delta-York Local Schools.

Look for more on the new principals in an upcoming edition of the Swanton Enterprise.