Bloomfield Hills Schools joins school districts throughout Michigan to celebrate January as School Board Recognition Month.
The seven elected trustees of the Bloomfield Hills School Board are dedicated to the success of our students and are guided by the district's long-standing Mission Statement and the Portrait of a Learner. Each year the board works in conjunction with the superintendent to create Annual Goals. School board trustees are elected in even year November elections by the residents of our school district.
Every local school district is governed by a school board. These school board members (or trustees) are guardians of the public trust; they put the interests of their community's youth first. Serving as a link between the community and classroom, school board members are elected to establish the policies that provide the framework for public schools. This crucial responsibility and the closeness of trustees to the voters make the local school board the purest example of democracy our society presents.
The seven elected trustees currently serving on the Bloomfield Hills Schools Board of Education are: Howard Baron, Jennifer Cook, Lisa Efros, Paul Kolin, Siva Kumar, Michelle Southward, and Johnathan VanGemert.
We would also like to extend a warm welcome to our three new Board members: Siva Kumar, Michelle Southward, and Johnathan VanGemert! Learn more about them below.
The BHS Board Members will be formally recognized during the Board of Education Study Session on January 14, 2021.
New Board Members
Siva Kumar is a Senior Director at DWH Corp., a financial and business consulting firm. Mr. Kumar has over 30 years of experience in finance, business development and operations.
Mr. Kumar holds a MBA from the Ross School of Business at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor and a Master's Degree in Engineering from Wayne State University. Mr. Kumar earned an undergraduate degree in Mechanical Engineering from the Coimbatore Institute of Technology in Coimbatore, India.
Mr. Kumar and his wife are parents to two college students who graduated from Bloomfield Hills Schools.
Michelle Southward is the Director of Academic Advising and Student Services for the School of Health Sciences at Oakland University. With nearly 20 years of experience in higher education, Michelle’s professional experiences include, but are not limited to the areas of strategic planning, diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI), training and development, and retention.
Michelle is currently completing her PhD in Education and holds a Master of Arts (MA) degree in Counseling as well as a Master of Science (MSA) degree in Administration. Michelle and husband have lived in the district for many years with their four amazing children.
Johnathan VanGemert currently holds a Juris Doctorate from the University of Detroit Mercy and has practiced law for the last 13 years, most recently as an Attorney at Zausmer, PC.
Mr. VanGemert also holds a B.A. in Economics and Management from Albion College and has worked as a Case Evaluator for the Wayne County Mediation Tribunal.
Mr. VanGermert is married to a teacher who has taught in Bloomfield Hills Schools for 15 years. They have three children (two currently enrolled in BHS and one who will enroll in the fall of 2021).