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Calumet principal ending career in education

CALUMET – George Twardzik has been involved with Calumet High School as a student, teacher and administrator, and as of July 1 he will be retiring as an educator and leaving the school.

Twardzik, 50, who is CHS principal, said he recently was given an opportunity to get involved with a business venture, about which he said it’s too soon to go into details.

He grew up in Copper Harbor and also lived in Hancock then Calumet. At Calumet High School, he played football, basketball and track.

Twardzik received degrees in computer science and education from Michigan Tech University, and also played football at Tech. He has a master’s degree in education administration from Northern Michigan University and is working on a doctorate in education administration from Walden University. His dissertation will be on technology in education.

However, his career in education didn’t start at the Public Schools of Calumet, Laurium & Keweenaw, Twardzik said. For the 1989-90 school year, he had a job in Springfield, Ill.

“I taught high school math in Springfield,” he said. “I coached football there.”

After Springfield, Twardzik said he was the K-12 technology coordinator for the school district in Coleman, Wis., from 1990 to 1996.

“I brought the technology program … from kindergarten through high school,” he said. “We put together a program for the elementary students.”

Also at Coleman, Twardzik said he taught high school math and coached football and basketball.

He came back to CHS in 1996.

“When I first came back, I taught computers in the high school and middle school, and I was the district technology coordinator” he said.

In 1997, Twardzik said the high school and Washington Middle School were physically connected. At that time, the two buildings were electronically connected, also, and he was involved with that process.

“That was when we really expanded our technology,” he said. “That was a big change for us at that time. It was really exciting, actually.”

His career as an administrator at CHS began in 2002 when he was vice principal and curriculum coordinator during the tenure of former principal Don Poshak. In autumn 2003, he became CHS principal. However, from 2004 to 2006, he was involved in setting up the Horizons Alternative School in Mohawk. At that time it was a middle school, and he taught math there. Horizons became an alternative high school while he was there.

From 2006 to 2008, Twardzik taught math at Washington Middle School. In 2009, he resumed his position as CHS principal.

Although he’s retiring from education, Twardzik said he intends to continue getting his PH.D.

“I hope to still do something in education, if there’s something I can do to help,” he said. “At some point in my career, I would like to do something on the university level, part time.”

There was no particular event or reason that prompted him to leave C-L-K now, other than the business opportunity, Twardzik said. He said having someone else as principal will be good for CHS.

“In school leadership, bringing in a fresh perspective is not always the worst thing, either,” he said.

Twardzik said his time in education and at C-L-K has been very important to him.

“I loved every minute of it,” he said. “Calumet schools and Calumet High School are very dear to me. It’s very much a part of me.”