Tracy Hertsel – Director of Student Support Service
Niles Community Schools is proud to serve a diverse population of students with diverse learning styles and needs – not every student learns best the same way. That’s where Tracy Hertsel, the district’s new director of student support services, comes into play. In his role, Tracy helps students who need a change, for a variety of reasons, find alternate options or support programs.
For some students, that means education in a non-traditional setting, like the W-A-Y Niles Program. The virtual program provides a personalized learning experience and encourages self-esteem, independence and 21st century skills that will facilitate a college education and career path for its students.
Tracy also focuses on programs to support students with a history of misconduct and to keep them in school. Two of those programs are the Michigan Department of Education’s Restorative Justice and Positive Behavior Intervention Support. Restorative Justice, a new, state-mandated program, addresses conflict and misconduct with a focus on healing rather than punishment. Positive Behavior Intervention Support tracks student data to help increase positive behavior in classrooms and on campus.
“These new programs are going to be a mind shift,” said Tracy. “We are changing the paradigm and figuring out how to keep students in school to ensure they are successful.”
Before his role as director of student support services, Tracy was superintendent at Cassopolis Public Schools for five years, an administrator for 18 years and, prior to that, taught at various grade levels for six years.