Official FHS principal and athletic director announced

Bree Soule, Online Editor-in-Chief

At the recent Fenton Area Public Schools (FAPS) Board of Education meeting on March 7, FAPS Superintendent Dr. Adam Hartley recommended Interim Principal Michael Bakker become FHS principal permanently. He also recommended Interim Athletic Director Dr. Dallas Lintner become FHS athletic director permanently. 

The FAPS Board of Education unanimously approved both Bakker and Lintner for these positions because of the work both administrators have done to support the staff and students at FHS.

“We are excited to have both Mr. Bakker and Dr. Lintner at FHS,” Hartley said. “Our students, staff and families will learn that they both lead in such a way that places kids first. I am 110 percent confident in them both. They both have a vast amount of experience and are student/athlete focused. Both have gone through a rigorous process before being named to their positions and are dedicated to FAPS and the community.”

At the beginning of his career at FHS in 2004, Bakker believed he would one day become a principal or superintendent. However, with his experience in the athletic department, this goal began to fade for a period of time.

“As time went on, I became so entrenched with the great things we as a school community were doing with athletics, that I started to change my goals and mindset and thought I was excited about remaining a Athletic Director/Assistant Principal for the rest of my career,” Bakker said.  “But as we all learn, sometimes opportunities present themselves and we have to reevaluate and this is such a case where I wasn’t looking to move initially, but in the end I am excited about this new chapter.”

Bakker’s experience as a leader and his ability to work with a variety of people— staff and students included— is what made him a strong candidate for the principal position.

“What stood out since Mr. Bakker took over as principal is his passion for developing and maintaining a student-focused environment and his mindset that any challenge can be looked at as an opportunity of growth,” Harley said. 

When the opportunity arose to become FHS principal, after some thought he decided to apply for the position. After working as the interim principal, he found he enjoys working in such a capacity, and his prior experience made him well-prepared.

“I am very excited about this new opportunity in my career,” Bakker said. “I believe that Fenton High School and Fenton Area Public Schools is an excellent place to learn and work and I welcome feedback from students, staff and community on the job we are doing. I am a person who encourages taking risks and trying new initiatives, while also knowing that it’s ok to fail at those initial attempts as long as we use it as an opportunity to learn and do better the next time. My hope is that students will find me approachable and open minded to new ideas that can benefit our school community.”

With this administrative change, Lintner seized the opportunity to become the FHS athletic director permanently. While he was excited with his original interim position, Lintner’s position becoming permanent has provided him with some relief.

“I feel more relaxed thinking about being a husband and a father, knowing there’s that security for my family,” Lintner said. “I also feel professionally relieved that I don’t have to continue to look for employment. This is where I wanted to be, but until it was permanent I still had to think about taking care of my family. I’ve been in several school districts and in the athletic administration game for awhile and this is a very respected school district, an extremely well-respected athletic program so being here is kind of a big deal. It’s special, and with that comes some pressure, but this is a wonderful opportunity.”

Both Lintner and Bakker welcome their new opportunities. While Lintner is new to the Tiger Family, donning the colors of orange and black is nothing unfamiliar for Bakker.

“FHS is my home so to speak,” Bakker said. “I truly love being a part of this community and with that, I believe that I can be a strong educational leader for FHS and our school community.”