Principal's Welcome

Dear Houghton Families,

Welcome to Houghton! Houghton Elementary is a school with heart. We love the students and families we serve and you will love having your child here. We are a Leader in Me School, teaching principles of the 7 Habits of Happy Kids, based on the work of Stephen Covey. From kindergarten through fifth grade, special education, general education, and Encore classes like music, art, Spanish and physical education, we want students to love learning and grow to be people who can satisfy their own curiosity as life-long learners.

As the principal of Houghton, I believe I have three main responsibilities. First is always safety. I want students, staff and families to be physically and emotionally safe. That means that we treat one another with care and respect. If you ever feel that is not happening, I hope you will speak up so that we can resolve that issue quickly. I want everyone to feel welcome in our school.

Secondly, my job is to ensure teacher quality. That means that we hire the best candidates out of rather large pools of teachers and staff. When I’m not in my office, I am generally visiting classrooms and working on teacher observations to ensure the learning in every classroom. Our district commits to engage our staff with quality professional development, and I’m proud to say that in Waterford, we have a culture of learning for staff. We read professionally, engage in learning labs and grow professionally each year. I believe that I am working in a system with the best and most highly trained teachers around.

The previous two responsibilities lead me to the third—student achievement. With the best staff and a calm and safe environment, learning is optimized. At Houghton, I’m delighted that achievement is on the rise. In 2016-2017, we were recognized by the State of Michigan as a Rewards School for our growth in achievement. As we continue to improve instruction and help students grow, our goal is to be recognized for our high achievement overall.

If you ever have a need, question or feedback for our team, do feel free to contact me. Our school secretary, Katherine Nabozny, can make an appointment to talk.


Valerie Grimes


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Elementary Principal

Valerie Grimes
Houghton Elementary School


Katherine Nabozny Schminke
Houghton Elementary School