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Nick Angel and Matt Ceo Appointed as New Principals

Photo by Crystal Hayduk. Nick Angel, the newly appointed principal of Chelsea High School.

By Crystal Hayduk

The close-knit Beach Middle School leadership team of Nick Angel and Matt Ceo have leaped into new waters—a dive they both have been prepared to take.

Superintendent Julie Helber announced the changes in an email to district families on Nov. 12, following their interim appointments that began Nov. 8: Nick Angel “was thrilled to accept” the position of Chelsea High School (CHS) principal, and Matt Ceo “accepted enthusiastically” the offer to become the next principal of Beach Middle School (BMS). 

Angel fills the opening created when Mike Kapolka resigned on Nov. 5 after 14 years at CHS to become the assistant superintendent of human resources at Wayne-Westland Community Schools. In Kapolka’s written announcement to high school families, he said the decision to change employment was difficult, but his family isn’t moving.

“Although this may be a professional ‘goodbye,’ our family will continue to be active and proud members of our Bulldog community,” he said.

Nick Angel

Angel was hired as an assistant principal at CHS in 2008, and was promoted to BMS principal in 2011. He earned his undergraduate degree in English and political science from Western Michigan University and taught for five years at Blissfield High School.

Since the early days of his career, he earned a master’s degree in educational leadership from Madonna University (MU) and is preparing to defend his doctoral dissertation in educational leadership and innovation next month, also through MU. 

Becoming principal at CHS was, according to Angel, the next logical step in the progression. “I’m all in for serving the Chelsea community,” he said. “I already know the majority of the students and their families from my years at the middle school. I’m well-versed in the routines.

“It is a privilege and absolute honor to be entrusted as principal of Chelsea High School,” said Angel.

Because CHS is already a high-performing school, Angel’s first order of business is to conduct a “listening tour.” He believes that moving forward requires listening to the students and staff to learn the best way to boost their growth.

Angel said he’s not only thankful for Helber’s support for his new role, but also he appreciates how “incredibly welcomed” the high school students, staff, and the greater community have made him feel.

CHS junior Peter Mourad approves of Angel’s appointment. “Mr. Angel is super helpful and super nice,” he said. “I think he’ll do a great job as our new principal.”

Matt Ceo

Ceo came to BMS in 2016 to fill the assistant principal role after teaching English and social studies to seventh and eighth graders at Saline Middle School. He graduated from the University of Michigan with a bachelor’s degree in elementary education (focus on English and social studies) and from Concordia University with a master’s degree in educational leadership.

“I wanted to be an educator since I was in middle school,” said Ceo. “Then, once in college, I set a long-range goal of becoming a middle school administrator. When I did the interim job last week, it solidified that desire.”

Because Ceo and Angel worked closely together for the past five years, Ceo plans to keep BMS on the steady course that has shown success. “Primarily, I want to make the school a safe place for all kids,” he said. “And, I want to take care of the teachers and provide them with the best tools to help them grow.”

With an open door (and phone) policy, he wants people to feel welcome to reach out to him.

Angel is confident in his protégé. “I am excited for Matt to take on the leadership role at BMS,” he said. “They are in great hands.”

BMS special education teacher Josh Tropea agrees: “Matt Ceo has been an incredible assistant principal and he’s ready [to be principal].”

The ripple effect of the administrative changes left the BMS assistant principal position open, but it was quickly filled internally with Andrea Franco, who will serve in an interim capacity for the rest of the 2021-22 school year. At that time, a re-evaluation will determine permanence. Helber said Franco recently earned her administrative certification, and has the experience and qualifications for the position.

Ceo said Franco is “already an incredibly valuable member of our team…[who] brings a lot of passion and excitement to the position.”

Helber said the district is fortunate to “retain outstanding administrators” who clearly love serving in their roles. With complete confidence in their abilities, Helber said, “I truly believe that Mr. Angel and Mr. Ceo will continue to serve the Chelsea School District with pride and excellence and will make this transition a smooth one for all involved.” 

Photo by Crystal Hayduk. Matt Ceo, newly appointed principal of Beach Middle School.
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