We are honored to introduce you to three new members of our central office family.
Lisa Key is an Area Superintendent based out of the central office in Grand Rapids. Lisa comes to us from Lighthouse Academy where she served as Principal. Prior to that, she served as a Principal with Grand Rapids Public Schools at a school specializing in special education, and as a social worker for Pine Rest Christian Services. Lisa earned her Bachelor’s Degree from Michigan State University and her Masters of Social Work & Masters in Educational Leadership from Grand Valley State University.
She enjoys spending time on the beach in California with her son, Jordan who is 27-years-old and resides in Los Angeles, and her daughter Jasmine who is a sophomore at Michigan State University. Lisa also enjoys dressage, horseback riding, and cheering on the Michigan State Football Team!
When asked why she chose the Choice family, she said, “My values as a person and as an educator align well with Choice and their core values. I am a servant leader who believes that all children have the capacity to grow and learn so that they can become contributing members of society. I believe society has often fallen short of that goal in a lot of ways, especially as it relates to our inner-city youth. Choice, like myself, believes that all children should have equal access to incredible educational opportunities and Choice has a track record of offering that through the school partnerships that they form and the support that they provide their schools.
Chris Matheson comes to us from another management company where he was most recently a director of a school in Saginaw. Prior to that, he served in various leadership roles since 2000. Chris earned his Bachelor’s degree and MBA from the University of Michigan, his Masters in History from University of Alabama, and is finishing his degree in Educational Leadership from Oakland University.
Joining the Choice family as an Area Superintendent, Chris will serve our east side schools. He and his wife Miranda live in Grand Blanc with their two children, Sloane who is 4-years-old and Sawyer who is 6-months-old. His hobbies include spending time with his family, running, reading, and cheering on the Alabama Crimson Tide!
When asked about his goals for the schools and students he will serve, Chris said, “I want students to know they have an array of choices available to them – whether it’s a career, college, University, or technical school. It is my duty to make the school leader and staff’s jobs easier and more enjoyable so we can make a difference on a bigger level!”
Chris Ruiter serves as the Director of Student Services for both Choice Schools Associates and MIChoice. He comes to us from Byron Center Public Schools where he was the Principal at Marshall Elementary. Prior to that, Chris served as a special education teacher for 14 years in Wyoming Public Schools (MI) and in Union City Community Schools. Chris received his Bachelor’s in Special Education from Calvin College, his Masters in Educational Leadership from Western Michigan University, and went on to earn his Special Education Administrators Endorsement in 2012 from Grand Valley State University.
Chris lives in West Michigan with his wife Beth, and their four children; Addison, Holden, Weston, and Judson. A few of his favorite things are spending time with his wife and children, serving at their church, relaxing at the family cottage up north, hobby farming and reading.
When asked about his new role, Chris said, “Coming to Choice was a great opportunity to serve students in need. In this position I want to have an impact on the students who might otherwise get overlooked or left behind. Those students need to have every opportunity to receive the instruction that meets their needs.”
“Being able to work with staff and school leaders to collaborate will help us to create an environment where kids can get everything they need,” Chris concluded.
Also, we are excited to announce that Amanda Konopaska (formerly Witulski) has taken the new role of Montessori Education Specialist.
As a Montessori Education Specialist working with the marketing and curriculum teams for both Choice Schools Associates and MIChoice, Amanda Konopaska brings to the table her love and passion for Montessori philosophy. As an undergraduate, she earned her Bachelor of Science in Education from Wayne State University and has recently earned her Masters in School Principalship with a concentration in Charter School Leadership from Central Michigan Univeristy. Additionally, she also holds an Elementary II Credential from the American Montessori Society. Prior to joining the Choice and MIChoice family, Amanda worked at a private Montessori school as an upper elementary teacher. She then chose to help start up Choice’s 1st Montessori school and served as an upper elementary teacher for five years before moving into a leadership role within the company. When the plans for the school changed, she was happy to become part of the central office team. Amanda is also the face behind “Montessori Rocks!” a vibrant community of parents, educators and students that are excited to share with one another their love of all things Montessori.