Former ‘beloved’ Lake Orion Principal Alice Seppanen passes

Former ‘beloved’ Lake Orion Principal Alice Seppanen passes

For nearly 20 years Alice Seppanen served the students of Lake Orion schools, first as assistant principal and then as principal of Waldon and Oakview middle schools.
She was a principal of the year in 2007, and was known for her compassion, enthusiasm and dedication to her students.
Alice Mae Seppanen, 64, of Rochester Hills, died May 11, 2017 after battling cancer.
“Alice was a very beloved Waldon and Oakview Middle School Principal. She was kind, loving and had tremendous energy and enthusiasm for working with her staff, students and families,” said Marion Ginopolis, superintendent of Lake Orion Community Schools.
“Even following her retirement from Lake Orion, she remained active in numerous state-level administrator associations providing counsel and mentorship to aspiring principals,” Ginopolis said.
“In 2007 Alice was selected as the Michigan Association of Secondary School Principal’s Middle Level Principal of theYear. She will be remembered fondly and will be missed by all with whom she worked in our school district,” Ginopolis said.
Sepannen became assistant principal of Waldon Middle School Aug. 12, 1991 and then principal on Jan. 16, 1995.
She transferred to Oakview Middle School on Jan. 17, 2002 to take over as principal before retiring from Lake Orion Schools on June 30, 2011.
Seppanen, of Rochester Hills, is survived by her husband of 44 years, Dennis Seppanen, her son, Matthew, daughter-in-law Denyse and three grandchildren: Elle, Drew and Paige.
She is also survived by her mother-in-law, Toni Pollard and her husband Dr. Richard Pollard, loving aunts, cousins and friends.
Alice Seppanen was born March 12, 1953 to Marvin and Jeanne Bierwirth in Detroit, Michigan. She was the first person in her family to attend college, and completed her undergraduate and multiple graduate degrees at Oakland University.
Professionally, Alice had a passion for Middle School education and influenced multiple generations of students and co-workers in both Lake Orion and Troy. She was awarded the Principal of the Year Award for the State of Michigan and was honored to serve her peers as the President of Michigan Association of Middle School Educators, according to Seppanen’s obituary.
Personally, Alice was an inspiration to her family and friends. She had a strong love for her husband and family, and her life was filled with laughter and joy. Alice and Dennis traveled the world experiencing as much as life could offer – as Dennis says, they made a “good team”.
“Following Alice’s cancer diagnosis, through God’s grace, the family was given four years of high quality life before her passing. Much of those four years were spent at their vacation home in Northern Michigan and with their family in Utah hiking, camping and skiing. The family cherishes those times and will be sharing stories, laughter and tears of joy for years to come,” the family said in the obituary.
The family held a funeral service on Monday at Troy First United Methodist Church and has requested that memorials in Alice’s name may be made to the Lake Orion Community Schools “Lamp of Learning Academic Awards” or the American Cancer Society.
For Lamp of Learning donations:
Lake Orion Community Schools
Lamp of Learning Academic Award
315 N. Lapeer St.
Lake Orion, MI 48362
Please make checks payable to: Lake Orion Community Schools – Academic Awards.
Family and friends may also share their condolences and remembrances at www.modetzfuneralhomes.com on Seppanen’s tribute wall.
— Jim Newell
Lake Orion Community Schools and Modetz Funeral Homes also provided information for this story.

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