December 22, 2014

Pinconning board president says “no hard feelings” with SSCS board

By James Kuch
News Editor | news@arenacindependent.com
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PINCONNING — As one local district looks to add a superintendent, another may lose one.

The Pinconning Area School District’s Board of Education President Gary Yaros said that Superintendent Darren Kroczaleski has kept the board informed about his pursuit of other superintendent positions, including the one at Standish-Sterling Community Schools.

Yaros said Kroczaleski has talked to the board about his search and informed the board that he had applied for the SSCS position in July.

“We found out at the same time we were talking with the (SSCS) board about sharing services,” Yaros said. “There are no hard feelings between anyone.”

In July, members of the Pinconning board, along with Kroczaleski met with members of the SSCS board to discuss the sharing of administrative services. Kroczaleski said he officially applied after the SSCS board decided to move forward with a search for their own superintendent.

“It did not make sense for me to apply until after that decision was made,” he said.

This is the second time that Kroczaleski, a 1984 graduate of Standish-Sterling Central High School and former employee has interviewed for the superintendent position. He was a finalist when Michael Dodge was selected for the position in 2007.

He said he taught adult education classes at night in the district from 1990-94 and was a substitute teacher in 1989, adding that he has always had some interest in returing to the district.

“I guess, being that I am from there and that I graduated there the district has always interested me,” he said.

Kroczaleski will interview on Tuesday, Aug. 16 for the position as one of five finalists. Other finalists include Brenda Wilson, the former superintendent of Gobles Public Schools, Jerry Jennex, current superintendent of Capac Community Schools, Richard Satterlee, the former superintendent of Hastings School District and Eileen Grant-Bell, the former superintendent of Addison Community Schools.

In January, Kroczaleski was interviewed as a finalist for the West Branch-Rose City School District superintendent. Daniel Cwayna was chosen for the position. He said in the past year he has also applied for positions at Clio Area Schools, Mt. Morris Consolidated Schools and Meridian Public Schools.

Yaros said the board is happy with Kroczaleski as the district’s superintendent but added that the board is prepared if Kroczaleski moves on.

“We can’t fault him for looking at ways to better improve himself as a professional,” Yaros said. “He has set up a great administrative staff and a good assistant superintendent (Mike Vieau) who can keep this district moving in the right direction. We are comfortable in the position we are in.”

Yaros said he believes that Kroczaleski has done his best to improve the district the past eight years.

“I think (SSCS) is just starting to see many of the financial issues that we have had to deal with the past few years here,” he said. “Darren (Kroczaleski) has done everything he can for us.”

No matter what happens for Kroczaleski, Yaros said he knows Pinconning Area Schools will be in good hands and he said he hopes the two districts can work together to create better education for students.

“I trust Darren (Kroczaleski) and the SSCS board and I know they won’t do anything to jeopardize us,” he said. “If there is a transition, in the future, I know it will be a smooth one. We are only rivals on the field. When it comes to education I know we are all on the same page.”

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