LAKE ODESSA — Randy Fleenor was happy being the superintendent at Lakewood Public Schools and wasn’t seeking another job.


But Fleenor believes some opportunities in life find you, like the top spot at Mattawan Consolidated School.


“This opportunity sought me out,” Fleenor said. “Me and my family felt I needed to investigate this.”


Fleenor was offered and accepted the superintendent position at Mattawan Consolidated School. He starts his new job on July 1. Fleenor’s last day of being the leader of Lakewood Public Schools being June 30, which is when his contract expires.


“It’s never easy leaving somewhere,” Fleenor said. “It’s never easy leaving people and saying goodbye to people. I wanted to stay true to myself and stay true to Lakewood. I feel the timing was right for both areas.”


After Fleenor completed his second round of interviews at Mattawan virtually on April 21, that district’s school board contacted him that night and offered him the job. The Mattawan school board finalized his contract on May 1.


“I was very excited to get the call and very much looking forward to heading to Mattawan and joining the team, working with the board and working with the people down there,” Fleenor said.


Fleenor applied for the position in February, but the process has taken some time because of the COVID-19 pandemic, he said.


While Fleenor is excited for a new position, he said he’ll miss his time at Lakewood — calling it “bittersweet.”


“It’s been a great run at Lakewood,” Fleenor said. “I’ve enjoyed my time here thoroughly.”


Fleenor was hired as Lakewood superintendent in 2015 after previously serving eight years as principal at Alto Elementary School. He has also previously served as interim high school principal and elementary school principal at Lansing Christian School.


During his time at Lakewood, Fleenor said he’s been proud of the collaboration between administration and school board and union leadership that helped raise teacher pay.


“I think we’ve made great progress in that… We have consistently year to year invested in labor force at the contract level,” Fleenor said.


LPS has also passed a $1.2 million energy savings program for necessary non-taxpayer funded improvements, finished the planning and securing to upgrade the Lakewood Elementary School parking lot, developed its curriculum and upgraded how it handles professional development.


Fleenor said he’ll miss graduation ceremonies, Friday night football games and veterans ceremonies at Lakewood Public School. He also said he’ll miss the people involved with Lakewood, saying they’ve pulled together through tough times financially at the beginning of his tenure.


“I think Lakewood has a bright culture,” Fleenor said. “I’m excited for this district. I’ve left a lot of blood, sweat and tears here.”


The LPS Board of Education has contracted with the Michigan Leadership Institute to consult and guide the board through the process of selecting a new superintendent. Regional President Dave Killips will work directly with the board, which hopes to have a new superintendent seated on July 1.


An anonymous survey for staff and community members input is available under the superintendent search tab on the LPS website: lakewoodps.org. It closes at 4 p.m. May 10.


“It’ll be exciting to see Lakewood get to the next level,” Fleenor said. “I’ll be keeping an eye from afar and watching the growth.”


— Contact reporter Evan Sasiela at esasiela@sentinel-standard.com. Follow him on Twitter @SalsaEvan.