2018-02-12 / News

Yale schools superintendent to run for House

BY CATHY BARRINGER
Staff Writer

YALE — The superintendent of Yale Public Schools is throwing in his hat for the State House of Representatives 81st District seat being termlimited by Dan Lauwers, R-Brockway Township.

“You can be part of the problem or you can be part of the solution,” Ken Nicholl said. “I think I have something to offer. I don’t want to be on the sidelines.”

He joins a growing list of Republican candidates who will face off during the primary election on Aug. 7. They include: John Mahaney of Port Huron, Michael Pratt of Allenton, Bob Rudowski of St. Clair, Dan Turke of China Township, and Joel Williams of Emmett. Joshua Rivard of Clay Township has filed as a Democrat. Deadline to file for the two-year seat is 4 p.m. on April 24.

Nicholl is in his 19th year at Yale Public Schools, the first 11 as an administrator, mostly high school principal, and the last eight as superintendent.

He admits he has no political background but believes he can bring a new perspective to the office. He said making decisions for an $18 million business — the school district — has provided him with good experience.

“I look at that as a positive,” Nicholl said. “I come at it with a fresh approach.

“I think I can offer a voice for kids,” he said. “Lansing is unique because there are a lot of people making decisions about education and policy and reform, but few have been in the trenches. “

Nicholl said he’d also like to see more policy protecting the Great Lakes.

“I think we really need to protect our Great Lakes,” Nicholl said. “In the Thumb, Lake Huron provides a huge economic boon in the county, and I don’t want to waste the opportunity to protect them.”

Nicholl said among his other top agenda items are: reforming auto insurance, addressing aging infrastructure, and attracting and retaining a talented workforce.

Nicholl holds degrees from Wayne State University with a bachelor’s in chemistry and master’s in teaching. He also has an educational specialist degree in leadership from Saginaw Valley State University.

He and his wife, Kathy, have three boys. Noah and Ian were both valedictorians and are attending Oakland University and Grand Valley State University, respectively, while Aidan is a junior at Yale High School.

“I’m in a win-win situation,” Nicholl said. “I love what I do for a living. If I’m successful, it will be a new and exciting adventure where I can have a bigger impact on a bigger population. If I’m unsuccessful, I love what I do.”

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