Grand Island Public Schools
123 South Webb Road
Grand Island, NE 68802
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GIPS announces administrator hires for 2019-2020

Grand Island Public Schools has announced the hiring of eight new administrators for the 2019-2020 school year.

“Our team has worked to find the right leaders to provide the GIPS experience for all of our students,” said Dr. Tawana Grover, GIPS superintendent. “We are enthusiastic about the new administrators joining us and those moving up from other positions within the district. We are fortunate when we can promote leaders from within as well as attract others who have a desire to join our team to help students thrive.”

The new administrators are at all levels throughout the district, from preschool through high school, as well as a district-level director position and a special program coordinator.

District-level director

Dan Phillips is the Director of Innovation for College and Career Readiness. Phillips had been the academy principal for the Academy of Technical Sciences and the Career Pathways Institute Coordinator.

Phillips said he is excited about this position because he can carry out the lessons he has learned at CPI to prepare even more students for college and career success.

“We have a great team of administrators and staff at Grand Island Senior High who are invested and working hard to make our academies the best in the nation,” Phillips said. “I look forward to doing my part to reach that goal and having a major impact on all the students of Grand Island Public Schools, current and in the future.”

High school

The new academy principal for the Academy of Technical Sciences will be D.W. Holley. Holley moves on from his position as West Lawn Elementary principal to fill the slot Phillips held. Holley has been a GIPS elementary and middle school administrator since 2009.

“I am excited to be working with the dynamic staff and administration at Grand Island Senior High,” Holley said. “Our new venture in the Academy is going to be a revolutionary experience for Grand Island students, the community and the entire state of Nebraska. I am proud to be a part of this work.”


There will be two new GIPS elementary principals this fall.

Mikhail Happ will replace Holley at West Lawn Elementary. Happ has been in education eight years, most recently as the instructional coach at the school.

“What excites me most about serving in this new role is the opportunity to carry on the initiatives the West Lawn staff and I have put in place to impact students,” Happ said. “I also get the privilege to continue to work alongside an outstanding staff and student body, who all promote the positive culture I’ve had the pleasure to enjoy in the past few years.”

Rob Bishop will lead the Knickrehm Elementary staff. Bishop joins GIPS after nine years in Fremont Public Schools, where he was elementary PE teacher, a PBIS/MTSS coach and, most recently, the assistant principal at the grade 5-6 building.

“Setting students up for success and having the opportunity to build positive relationships with students and families for six years of elementary is very exciting,” Bishop said. “My wife and I are both excited to join the GIPS family and the Grand Island community.”

Bishop is eager to lead an elementary at a building he says “closely resembles the elementary buildings I taught at and supported as a PBIS coach.”


Amy Richards is the new early childhood education coordinator. Richards comes to GIPS from Educational Service Unit 16, where she was the early learning connection coordinator. She has been in education for 12 years.

“Early childhood education is my passion,” Richards said. “Grand Island Public Schools has demonstrated a tremendous commitment to early childhood education by including it as a district goal in the strategic plan. I am excited to be able to focus my work on supporting high quality early learning experiences for young children in the district. Participation in a high quality early childhood program has a life-long positive impact. We can help prepare children not only for success in school, but in life.”

Special programs

Jordyn Hubbard will be the new Skills Academy coordinator. She has been with GIPS since student teaching at Walnut Middle School in the fall of 2012 and joining the staff full time immediately after in the spring of 2013 as a DLP math teacher. She has taken on a variety of special education roles since, most recently as the Senior High special education instructional coach.

“To me, Skills Academy is a great example of ‘Every Student, Every Day, a Success!’ because Skills Academy strives to provide students with a personalized learning experience to help them to gain the skills that they need to be successful both in and out of the classroom,” Hubbard said. “The staff at Skills Academy has a true passion for working with diverse learners and care deeply about the academic, social, emotional and physical well being of each student who walks through their doors. I couldn't be more excited to work with such a dedicated group of professionals.”

Middle school

There are two new assistant principals at the middle school level for this fall.

Lloyd McIntyre joins the Barr Middle School staff from Hastings Public Schools, where he served as an individual skills development program coordinator, high school special education teacher, classroom para, and, most recently, a third grade teacher.

This will be his eighth year in K-12 education, with an additional six years working in higher ed.

“So much excites me about our work, but I think getting to know each of our kids and help impact their lives in a positive was is at the top,” McIntyre said. “I'm also really excited about the opportunity to engage with a talented group of caring adults as we continue the work of getting better. I've been able to work alongside some of those folks already and, in my brief interactions with them, it's pretty clear they do this work for all the right reasons.”

Stefanie Novotny will join the Westridge Middle School team. She joins GIPS after four years in Millard Public Schools and nine years at Lincoln Pius X. She has been a math teacher and coach for softball and basketball.

“I am excited to share my passion for learning and helping students and staff to be the best they can be,” Novotny said. “Education is the foundation of everything you do. I want to help each student succeed and find out who they are, their strengths and how to flourish.”

Dr. Grover said this group of new GIPS leaders has already joined the district in professional development opportunities in preparing for the next school year.

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