December 19, 2014

AGS board offers superintendent job to Tawas principal

By Kevin Bunch
Staff Writer | news@arenacindependent.com
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AuGRES — The AuGres-Sims school board offered the district’s superintendent position to Jeff Collier, Tawas Area High School principal, during a special meeting April 23.

Board President Douglas Furtah said the next stop would be contacting Collier with the offer before the board’s next special meeting May 7. Furtah said he wanted to be ready to sign the contract by then.

“His leadership is beyond reproach,” Furtah said. “After years of losing students in the student counts, it’s forced issues that need dynamic leadership. We don’t want someone at the tail-end of their career.”

Board members Heather Caulfield and Bret Dieleman went on a walk-through at the Tawas high school, with the freedom to speak to whomever they wanted to.

Caulfield said she had a couple reservations before the walk-through, having never done one before, but added she had been put at ease afterward.

“We had an hour to walk around and talk to anyone,” Caulfield said. “It was very open.”

She said they were able to meet members of the administration, the superintendent, teachers, and department heads, and each had positive words to say about Collier’s style and ideas.

“The administration said he was great to work with and work for,” Caulfield said. “The teachers felt better for him being there. Even if they didn’t agree on everything, you either got on board or he’d march forward anyway.”

The board also pursued additional feedback from administrators in Hampton and Essexville, where Collier has worked in the past, Furtah said. He said they gave positive reports, saying his ethics were “beyond reproach.”

The contract offer is based on the contract agreed upon by former Superintendent Anne Doriean. The board is offering Collier $90,000 a year, equivalent to Doriean’s starting pay, though slightly below the $93,000 a year, which includes merit pay, he is currently making at Tawas.

Collier will have the option to accept the contract or make a counteroffer.

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