COVID-19 has dominated our thoughts and actions for most of 2020. I continue to be inspired by
our teachers and support staff that continue to persevere in the face of significant challenges. I am
grateful for the efforts of our parents/guardians who continue to put in the extra hours to support
learning in-person and online. I am proud of our students who continue to diligently attend to their
education and to care for each other.
Plans are underway to have Saugatuck Middle School & High School approved as a vaccination site.
As we look ahead to brighter days in 2021, I want to share some good news and report on several
positive district initiatives that have progressed over the past eight months.
Saugatuck Public Schools continues to be highly regarded and was recently ranked by Niche as one
of the best school districts in Michigan with high grades for academics, athletics, health and safety,
college preparation and of course our teachers. Saugatuck High School was once again selected as
one the best high schools in America by U.S. News & World Report.
On March 10th the community passed a $35.6 million dollar bond proposal to substantially renovate
Douglas Elementary School and Saugatuck Middle School & High School. Design work on the DES
renovations has moved forward for the past eight months, and the construction documents have
gone out to contractors for bidding.
The first series of bonds is scheduled to be sold on January 19, Construction at DES is scheduled to begin on April 2, 2021 and is projected to be completed by December 2022. The architectural renderings on the following pages provide an updated view of
the project design.
Much of the LED lighting proposed in the project has already been installed through a grant from
Consumer’s Energy. This has resulted in energy savings of approximately $10,000 so far this school
year. The track and field areas at the stadium were also resurfaced this summer and a new clean
diesel bus was purchased with grant assistance from the Michigan Department of Environment,
Great Lakes and Energy.
In August, the board of education voted to retire the school district mascot and engage in the
process of selecting a new mascot and rebranding the school district. Ideas for a new mascot were
solicited from students, parents, faculty, alumni and the community with over 250 responses to the
first survey suggesting ninety unique mascot names. The original ninety names were weighed
against the position statement developed by the selection committee and board of education.
Through the use of a rubric, an advisory group of twenty-three individuals provided feedback on
twenty-four mascot names advanced by the committee. The following list of semi-finalists was
presented to the board of education on December 14th:
Eagles Steelhead Wave
Lakers Storm Sturgeon
Please let us know your top three choices by completing this brief survey:
The survey should only be taken once per person and will close on Sunday, January 3.
Graphic design students at SHS will mock up possible mascot designs for the finalists to be
presented to the board of education early next year.
I wish all of our SPS families a joyful holiday season and a healthy, peaceful and happy new year.
Timothy J. Travis, Ph.D.