After three years at the helm of East Lansing High School, Principal Coby Fletcher is leaving to become the Superintendent of Escanaba Area Public Schools in the Upper Peninsula.
Fletcher, who received his Doctorate in Public School Administration from Michigan State University last year, came to East Lansing in 2014 from Battle Creek Central High School, where he served as Principal. He was in Battle Creek for three years as well, after moving to Michigan from his home state of Texas.
The Escanaba School Board announced the selection of Fletcher over another candidate on Friday. They cited his qualifications as including closing East Lansing’s achievement gap and leading the school off the Focus Schools list within a year.
“I’ve had a blast at East Lansing High School. In many ways it is a dream job,” Fletcher said. “The students are wonderful, the staff is top notch, and the community is invested.”
Fletcher said since he has started, ELHS has moved to the 90th percentile in the State in student achievement, and has been given accolades from several sources.
“The Mackinac Center for Public Policy named us an “A” school, US News & World Report named us a Silver Medal School again and ranked us #18 in the State, and Bridge Magazine named us as Academic State Champion. Really, though, the credit goes to the staff. If I’ve accomplished anything worthy of note, I think it has been to empower them to do their best work. As a principal, my main goal is to create an environment where our staff can flourish. They do the rest,” he said.
He called moving from principal to superintendent “a natural next step” following the reception of his doctorate degree last year.
The East Lansing Board of Education will now be charged with finding a high school principal along with a new superintendent, following the departure earlier this year of Robyne Thompson.
“I am very happy for Coby and his family. I think he is more than ready to step up to a superintendent position. It is Escanaba's gain and our loss. He will be missed in East Lansing,” said Board member Karen Hoene.
Acting Superintendent Dori Leyko echoes this sentiment: "In his three years as Principal of East Lansing High School, Coby has implemented changes in programming that have resulted in increased student achievement. He also handled some challenging situations at the high school masterfully, and we will miss the knowledge, experience, and thoughtful decision-making skills that Mr. Fletcher brought to both the high school and to our District Administrative Team. The Escanaba Area Public School District is very fortunate to have Coby Fletcher leading their district," she said
Fletcher has also written a science fiction novel, titled The Q, which focuses on futuristic detectives attempting to solve a murder and stop “an out of control immucite evolving to produce horrific mutations in the human population.”