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Dr. Suzanne Klein, take a bow!

Everyone’s favorite school superintendent is finally receiving much deserved recognition this month with the naming of Grosse Pointe North High School’s newly renovated “C. Suzanne Klein Library.” Dr. Klein retired in 2011 after serving in the district for 41 years, the last 14 years as superintendent — the longest tenure of any superintendent in the district’s 102-year history.

Suzanne was not your normal superintendent. She was approachable and always good for a quote. One time when I was at the newspaper, I asked her about a policy that seemed to be unevenly applied. “Well,” she said, “it’s kind of ‘squishy’.” My favorite management style of hers was “trust, but verify,” a Russian proverb used by President Reagan.

When asked to comment on a library being named in her honor, she shared some of her favorite quotes she tells her future superintendent students at Oakland University: 

“Stephen Covey, the author of The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People, used the phrase, ‘The main thing is to keep the main thing the main thing.’ I adapted it to say, ‘The main thing is to keep the main thing — learning and teaching — the main thing.’ It was one of my favorites as a central office leader and superintendent. After thinking about what’s my favorite quote now, it’s still right near the top of the list. 

“Here’s another that hangs in my OU office, ‘What leaders really do is prepare organizations for change and help them cope as they struggle through it.’ John Kotter, 2001, from Harvard Business Review. I didn’t discover the Kotter quote until I arrived at OU and started teaching in the leadership preparation programs for superintendents, central office leaders and principals.

“People in GP Schools, as well as retirees, still remind me about keeping the main thing the main thing when I see them. So I guess that is the one that is memorable.” 

Suzanne retired from Grosse Pointe schools but never left Grosse Pointe. To this day, she is heavily involved with Grosse Pointe Rotary and the future Michael B’s Cafe, just to name a couple. You’re missed in our schools, Dr. Klein, but never forgotten...or replaced!

We hope you enjoy this issue of Pointe Magazine. As always, remember to patronize our many loyal advertisers, without whom this magazine would not be possible. Be sure to tell them you saw them in Pointe Magazine! See you around the Pointe!

John Minnis


In every May-June issue, we highlight education. This year, we chat with our new superintendent and our deputy superintendent. We explore what school assets Grosse Pointe Foundation for Public Education has funded over the years. We examine the extraordinary science education at Star of the Sea and much more.

My husband and I are thrilled to have a son in Grosse Pointe Public School System and a daughter in a private preschool in the Pointes. As parents, we overanalyze and worry about every decision we make. One of the biggest, and most talked about — at the park, in the neighborhood, with family — is school. 

I hear the same phrase time and again when it comes to where a child goes to school in the Pointes and I couldn’t agree more — “You can’t go wrong.” We are spoiled for academics, extracurriculars and opportunities. 

That could not be more clear than when I chatted with Superintendent Dr. Tuttle or Deputy Superintendent Dr. Bishop. Their passion for our schools and their commitment to the success of every student in the district was inspiring. 

Then there is Joe Evens, our May-June Pointe Personality, and a GPPSS occupational therapist. I’ll let you in on a secret — Joe was a high school friend of mine from Cousino. And he was one of the kindest there. Knowing he is one representative of the many exemplary individuals caring for our children is a comfort.

Hanley, our May-June Pointe Teen,  is a friendly and impressive high school senior who will be attending University of Michigan College of Engineering this fall. I asked the perfunctory, “How do you like it?” about her senior year at Grosse Pointe South. “Honestly, I love it,” she smiled.

I hope my kids have the same attitude someday. That they know how incredibly fortunate they are to receive a Grosse Pointe education.

The one thing I’ve found across the board is that everyone cares. Deeply. It takes a village. And we are so grateful to call Grosse Pointe ours.

Happy graduation, seniors!

Lauren McGregor