Board picks Rodger Gibson for school board seat

Ryan Lewis, Editor

Rodger Gibson will succeed Bryon Campbell on the Otsego school board.

The Otsego resident said he had 15 years of involvement with the community and was looking forward to helping the school district strive for excellence.

Campbell, a longtime board member and former board president stepped down mid-term in June.

Gibson, a Western Michigan University graduate, works at Fabri-Kal Company in Kalamazoo in designing thermoformed packaging. In his letter of intent to board members, he lists a variety of volunteer work in the community, including coaching with AYSO, little league and rocket football; working with the Otsego Post Prom Committee; and many hours building sets for the school musicals.

He said he has two stepchildren who graduated from Otsego and one son about to enter Otsego High School.

He commended Campbell for his leadership and said he planned to seek him out for advice.

Gibson wrote, “As a trustee, you would find me with a little extra focus on the arts along with at-risk kids.”

Gibson was among the eight who interviewed in May for the seat vacated by Stephen Podewell. Board members appointed Becky Gross to fill that term, which expires Dec. 31, 2022.

Gibson will serve out the remainder of Campbell’s term, which expires Dec. 31, 2018, and will be up for election in November of that year. School board terms last six years.

Board president Wendy Stafford said board members interviewed three candidates June 26: Amy Stender—who also interviewed in May—and Juanita Stamurs. She said another May interviewee, Cambron McCutcheon, expressed interest but had a scheduling conflict with the interview date.

Stafford said board members discussed the appointment Monday, July 24, a board workshop and selected Gibson.

Similar to the May interviews, she said each candidate showed considerable depth of quality.

“We could’ve picked any of them and had a marvelous addition to the board,” Stafford said, adding that there was much debate on how to decide between them. “It could’ve gone either way.

“I appreciate the people who interviewed and hope their interest in supporting the school district continues into the future, because we do have turnover on the board.”

She welcomed Gibson to the board, saying she looked forward to working with him.

“I appreciate the experience he brings to us and the commitment he has to the school district and the community. I highly value that,” she said.

Gibson was sworn in that night.

Contact Ryan Lewis at or (269) 673-5534.


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