Shelby High School begins new year with new principal 

September 7, 2023

Shelby High School begins new year with new principal 

Tiger Pride is a presentation of Shelby Public Schools in partnership with Oceana County Press. 

By Allison Scarbrough, Editor

SHELBY — Shelby High School started the 2023-24 school year with a new leader who brings lots of experience and enthusiasm to the job.

Zach Fricke replaces Zach Christian who was hired as Kenowa Hills Middle School principal. Fricke began the new job the week before school started, which was Aug. 29. 

He has a bachelor’s degree from Michigan State University, where he majored in journalism with a minor in English. He received a teaching certificate at the same time from MSU. The principal has a master’s degree in communication from Grand Valley State University and an administration certification from GVSU. 

Originally from North Branch, which is in the “Thumb” region of the state, Fricke grew up in a teaching family with both of his parents working as educators. 

Early in his career, he taught at Colorado Springs where he instructed English and ran the school newspaper and yearbook. He returned to Michigan focused on living on the Lake Michigan shoreline. He moved to North Muskegon and worked as an English teacher at Hart Public Schools for a couple years, overseeing the yearbook and student newspaper. 

He then took a job at North Muskegon Public Schools as an English teacher where he worked for 16 years. For the last two years, Fricke has served as assistant principal at Orchard View Public Schools. 

He has three children: Lucy, a freshman at the University of Michigan; Oliver, a sophomore, and Piper, a seventh grader. 

“I want to support the community and the students to uphold the tradition. Shelby is a great small town in terms of its tradition and pride. Coming in kind of hot with the transition, I’m trying to support everything and make it the best year possible.”

Fricke has independently published two books on Amazon under his full name — William Fricke (he goes by his middle name Zachary). August in Twilight is “about an aging teacher and his struggle at the end of his career.” What Do I Get is a screenplay “about a family going through the pandemic and some life changes.”

Fricke said he spends his free time mainly with his kids, and enjoys hiking, writing, reading, lifting weights and exercising. 

He has coached both boys and girls basketball. He competed in football and basketball all four years of high school.

“I’m excited — I grew up in a small town. Small towns send kids in every direction — kids that go to work right after high school; kids that go into the trades; kids that go into the military; and kids that go to college. As a school district, we have to support all four of those things and try to make all the kids feel that any of those paths are good paths — because they are. That’s what I’m excited to do is make the kids see that the future is in their hands.”

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