Checking in with the new Dexter High School Principal


This past spring, Dexter Community Schools hired a new principal at the high school and now with the new school year getting underway; it’s a good time to get to know principal Melanie Nowak a bit better.

Before coming to Dexter, she served as the Career and Innovation Coordinator for Farmington Public Schools and prior to that, as the principal of multiple STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, the Arts and Mathematics) program buildings in Tecumseh.

The Sun Times News (STN) reached out to Nowak as the school year quickly approached to see how she was settling in.

Now at DHS, Nowak said she feels…

“Dexter feels like home to me,” she said. “DHS has great students, great staff, and wonderful, supportive families. I am so glad to be a Dreadnaught.”

Melanie Nowak. photo courtesy of Dexter Community Schools

Her two little boys - Ryan (6) and Evan (3), who she describes as her whole world, have also taken to the DHS community.

“They are goofy, fun, and sweet,” she said. “They love running around the track and racing Mr. Dudash (a DHS teacher) around the school. Firing off the cannon at Al Ritt Stadium is also high on the list for them.”

When asked what the community should know about her, she said it starts with the students, families and the school community.

“I care deeply about the students, staff, and families of DCS,” she said. “The community should know that I care for much more than just academic success and accolades. Educating and supporting the "whole child" is so very important.”

Originally from Ida, Nowak graduated from Siena Heights University and Concordia University. She taught high school mathematics and English for 10 years before becoming an administrator. In administration, she said she’s has had the honor of serving as an elementary principal, middle school principal, and curriculum coordinator.

STN: What is the last book you read?

Nowak: “Brené Brown is always on my recently read list - whether I am reading a newly released book of hers or rereading an older work, she is always reminding me of best practices in leadership.”

STN: What are your favorite hobbies?

Nowak: “Softball, basketball, and music are a few... Ryan and Evan enjoy taking trips to all of the different area parks to see who has the best playground equipment. We are still working on visiting all of the different parks.”

In setting goals for the new school year, Nowak said, “Kindness and Empathy, as described in our Learner Profile, will be the theme for this year.”

“We want everything we do to speak to elements of Kindness and Empathy,” said Nowak. “Again, we want to show students the importance of being a well-rounded citizen and what it means to be a good human.”

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