Center Line Public Schools has a new superintendent and it is someone very familiar. Mr. Joseph Haynes graduated from CL in 1986, and returns to lead the district where he was once a student leader.
Q: What drove you to want to be the superintendent at Center Line?
A: About seven years ago I decided I wanted to be a superintendent, but my children were still in school. It was important for me to continue to be involved with them through their high school years. My youngest graduated last year which allowed me to start looking for a superintendent position. I have family and friends that still reside in the Center Line School District and they shared with me that Mrs. Kaltz was retiring and that CLPS was looking for her replacement. I have always been appreciative to the Center Line community and schools for everything that they have done for me and helping me develop into the person that I am today. There was an opportunity for me to get involved in the schools and help guide them with their mission of educating students.
Q: While attending Center Line were you involved in any sports or extracurricular activities? If so what were they?
A: I was involved in a lot of things. I played football, basketball, and ran track. I was the Student Council treasurer and I was a senior class officer (treasurer). I was also part of the yearbook staff (sports editor) and in the foreign language club.
Q: What’s one memory from attending Centerline that you will never forget?
A: There are so many memories from high school that are unforgettable. The one constant is the friendships that I had. I had six to eight really close friends that I did everything with. The time spent with them helped form the person that I am today.
Q: What made you realize that you wanted to be in the education field?
A: During my sophomore year in college I was able to take a leadership role in the student activities organization. I was put in charge of our community’s K-12 Special Olympics’ event. I really enjoyed working with students that had physical and academic challenges. That next semester I enrolled in my first education class.
Q: Who was your biggest influence? How did they influence you?
A: My two biggest influences were probably my dad and my grandmother. My dad taught me the importance and the enjoyment of family and friends. He was always willing to help out when needed and was always spending time with friends and family. My grandmother taught me the pleasure of “creativity” and the enjoyment of discovering new things. She was never intimidated by a challenge and her ability to problem solve was unbelievable.
Q: After becoming the superintendent do you feel that your career is complete?
A: My career has simply shifted in a different direction. I will probably finish my career in education as a superintendent, however, I will definitely do something else afterwards. I’m not sure what, but I will definitely have to keep myself busy doing something.
Q: Do you have any advice for the people graduating? Even the people that still attend school?
A: Don’t feel like you have to rush to get to your goal and don’t feel like you have to decide “everything right now”. I think people stress themselves out feeling like they have to have the right answer about their future goals by the time they graduate. You just need to decide on a direction that you want to start investigating. That is why I really like the academy model in our district. Students are allowed to “experience or practice” in a field that they think they may like. If they enjoy the field, then they have a direction to follow. If they discover they don’t enjoy a particular field, nothing is lost and they know to start looking elsewhere. My advice to seniors… find something you love to do and do it, friends play a major role in your life (so don’t forget them), be understanding of others and their opinions, and most importantly … be nice.
Q: What is your favorite thing to do when spending time away from work?
A: I love to build things, work with my hands and learn to do things that I haven’t done before. Growing up in Center Line didn’t allow me the opportunity to experience life outside of a city. I moved out to “the county” when I obtained my first teaching job. Since then, I was able to build part of my house, learn how to vegetable garden and grow fruit like grapes, raspberries and blueberries, started an orchard, learned how to repair an old diesel tractor and raise chickens and turkeys. Five years ago I became an apiarist (fancy name for beekeeper) and currently maintain three really big bee hives. I’m hoping my next adventure involves restoring an old muscle car or four wheel drive vehicle. I’ve always wanted to do something like that.
Mr. Haynes looks forward to meeting CL students and staff members as he guides the district into the future.