Longtime Dexter educator is retiring after three decades

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Jami Bronson. photo courtesy of Dexter Community Schools

Dexter Community Schools is saying goodbye to Mill Creek Middle School Principal Jami Bronson, who is retiring on February 1, after three decades in the district.

In her letter about the decision, Bronson begins by saying:

“Dear Dr. Timmis, DCS School Board, and Dexter Community,

After over 32 years working with this amazing school district I have decided it is time to retire, effective February 1, 2022. It has been a blessing to be a part of Dexter’s caring community throughout my career. I have enjoyed how kids and parents in Dexter look out for one another and have a true sense of what it means to be a part of a community. Never was this more evident than when the tornado went through or during the first month of the pandemic and lockdowns. People in this community truly care about each other and that is very special.”

Bronson has been principal of Mill Creek Middle School since 2004. Prior to that, she was an assistant principal shared between Mill Creek and Dexter High School.

The Sun Times News (STN) reached out to her by email after the DCS Board of Education officially accepted her retirement at its Jan. 10 meeting.

In answering the question, when did her time in Dexter begin, she said, “I started working in Dexter in 1989 through the recreation program, supervising the lil' ones during the early Saturday morning hours and Pillow Polo matches...so darn cute and I served as the summer recreation coordinator.”

She was hired as a teacher in August 1990, and taught science, web page design, and Community Service and Leadership at Mill Creek Middle School for 11 years.

Her educational background includes an undergraduate degree in Geology/Earth Science and a Masters in Educational Leadership from Eastern Michigan University.

STN asked her what she will miss most.

“I will miss so much from the staff, the community, and the Mill Creek family,” she said. “But hands down, I will miss the kids the most. They bring joy and laughter each and every day!”

Her passion and work didn’t go unnoticed either.

She was selected as the 2008 Michigan Association of Middle School Educators Principal of the Year, 2009 Michigan Association of Secondary Principals Middle Level Principal of the Year and 2010 National Finalist for Middle Level Principal of the Year – National Secondary Association of School Principals

In accepting Bronson’s retirement, the school board members said they were sad to see her go because she has meant so much too so many in the district, but they said they also understood why she is leaving.

Here is her retirement letter in whole:

Dear Dr. Timmis, DCS School Board, and Dexter Community,

After over 32 years working with this amazing school district I have decided it is time to retire, effective February 1, 2022. It has been a blessing to be a part of Dexter’s caring community throughout my career. I have enjoyed how kids and parents in Dexter look out for one another and have a true sense of what it means to be a part of a community. Never was this more evident than when the tornado went through or during the first month of the pandemic and lockdowns. People in this community truly care about each other and that is very special.

This has not been an easy decision for me. The past two years of living in a pandemic have caused many to refocus their priorities. As I reflect, I ask myself as we reach our autumn years what do most people say? Is it, “I wish I would have worked more years.” Or is it, “I wish I would have spent more time with friends and family.” For me, I want to enjoy every moment I can with loved ones. My father passed away this past year and the loss has brought clarity for me on how focusing on family and spending time with them is something I cherish deeply.

I have been truly blessed to work with such a wonderful community, great administrative team, and a dynamic and caring staff throughout the district. The Dexter Community Schools’ staff is exceptional! I could not be more proud of their commitment to each and every child that crosses their path. We are all so fortunate to have such a selfless and dedicated group of professionals who give everything they have and more to support each child.

I feel honored to have been part of the Dexter Community School System and this community over the past three decades. I am confident that the Dexter students are in good hands with an exceptional group of staff members. Thank you Dexter for allowing me to be a part of your wonderful community for the past 32 years.

With much gratitude,

Jami Bronson

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