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Joseph Conkle, Superintendent & Principal

“Our ROAR will grow in 2023-2024!”

Last year Joe Conkle served as our Principal and Assistant Principal.
 
In June, 2023, the Walkerville Board of Education named Joe as the District Superintendent and Principal.
 
Joe follows Dr. Tom Langdon, retired Superintendent from Sturgis Public Schools, who was asked by the Walkerville Board four years ago to take on the duties of superintendent part-time as Superintendent for the previous four years.
 
“I learned so much from Dr. Langdon,” said Joe. “He possesses a heart for kids and is totally unselfish in sharing his wealth of leadership experience and knowledge. The excellent course our district is on today is due in large part to him.”
 
Joe is happy to be raising his family in rural Oceana County, where he grew up.
 
The Walkerville Board of Education first selected Conkle as principal of its K-12 school in August 2018.  For the six years previous, Conkle was a secondary school social studies teacher and assistant school administrator at neighboring Hesperia, where Conkle himself graduated in 2002.
 
“The small-town atmosphere is what I love most about this place,” Conkle said. “I like knowing my neighbors and the feeling of a close-knit, welcoming community.”
 
Walkerville is one of few schools in Michigan, Conkle said, where a student can walk in the door as a kindergartener, and walk out the same door as a high school graduate.
 
Like Dr. Langdon, Joe is committed to continually elevating Walkerville School’s programs and reputation. Although small at approximately 270 students, Walkerville offers students about as many opportunities as larger nearby schools in Hart and Shelby.
 
“When you’re small, you get overlooked,” Conkle said, “even if you’re doing amazing things for your students.”
 
Many of Conkle’s favorite boyhood memories took place on the Walkerville dairy farm of his grandfather, Jerry Mansfield. Conkle and his grandfather still cultivate about 200 of that 600-acre farm today, although their primary crop is now hay. They also have a small herd of beef cattle.
 
Conkle had an opportunity to play football at Alma College, but figured he wouldn’t get substantial playing time. Instead, he enlisted in the Army after high school to earn his college education via the GI Bill.
 
Conkle had three years of active duty – including a one-year deployment to Iraq – and served six additional years in the Army reserve.
 
Academic credits he earned through Western Kentucky University while stationed at Fort Knox were transferred to Muskegon Community College, where Conkle completed an associate’s degree.
 
He completed a bachelor’s degree in education at Ferris State University in 2010, and then taught at Baldwin and Fremont. Conkle completed a master’s degree in educational leadership while working in school administration at Hesperia.
 
Joe is married to his high school sweetheart, Breann, and they have two daughters and two sons: Sarissa, Evan, Graham and Amelia.
 
He enjoys outdoor activities, especially hunting. 
 
In fact, one of his all-time favorite memories is a hunting trip to Montana with his grandfather, father, uncles, and male cousins.