October 24, 2014

SSCS board will not share superintendent position with Pinconning

Will move forward with list of 28 applicants

By James Kuch
News Editor | news@arenacindependent.com
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STANDISH — The Standish-Sterling Community School District Board of Education unanimously decided to move forward with a search for their own superintendent, rather than sharing the position with the Pinconning Area School District.

In a special meeting Tuesday, July 19, the board chose to select candidates from a list of 28 applicants for the district’s vacated superintendent position. Applicants had until Monday, July 18 to submit their applications.

Board President Dr. Leonard LeClair said he and board trustees Allen Schmidt and Annette Ratajczak met with members of Pinconning’s board of education to discuss sharing “superintendent services.”

It was clear that the board did not want to peruse that option,unanimously turning it down.

Pinconning Superintendent Darren Kroczaleski said last week he was willing to pursue the position if that was the direction that the Standish-Sterling Community School Board wanted to take.

He added that the idea of the two districts combining administrative services came from members of the Pinconning Area School Board.

“They came to me when (Michael) Dodge decided to step down from his position at Standish and asked if this is something we should peruse,” he said. “I am ready if this is what the (Standish-Sterling Community Schools) board wants to do.”

The board gave permission to Bay-Arenac Intermediate School District Superintendent Mike Dewey, who is the acting superintendent for Standish-Sterling Community Schools, to list his top 10 candidates for the position. He said, during the week of Aug. 2, the board will be able to review all 28 applicants and score them individually, using a test Dewey created.

“Each candidate will receive a score when we add up the total,” he said. “You will be able to look at binders filled with (applicants’) information and resumes. This will be done individually. You will not be able to share your results with other board members.”

Dewey said the reason he is asking the board to score each individual applicant is to help them narrow their search.

“As you’re tallying your results, you’re thinking about what is important to you,” he said.

Dewey said once the results are tallied, the board will be able to narrow the candidates down to six or seven.

“You tell me how many people you want to interview,” he said. “The list will become public at that point. The first round of interviews will take place the week of Aug. 8.”

Dewey said a second round of interviews will take place Aug. 15 and the board can do site visits the week of Aug. 22.

“At that time we can hold another special meeting and select a new superintendent,” he said. “I know we can get this done in this schedule, but it’s pretty aggressive.”

LeClair said SSCS is in a position where the district has options they can choose from, adding that they all have advantages and disadvantages.

“The advantage to sharing a superintendent means that it would be easier to share other services in the future,” he said. “We could share things like teacher trainings, all kinds of things. But we could also do that with our own superintendent.”

The board told Dewey that they are looking for a candidate with curriculum director experience.

The board voted to eliminate the district’s curriculum director position July 1.

The board also discussed bringing in a retired superintendent who lives in the area.

“There is obviously a financial advantage to this plan,” Dewey said. “You will not have to pay retirement or vacation and hire them for a contract, let’s say for $85,000, and that’s it.”

“The disadvantage, sometimes they could just say they do not want to continue working the position, and you’re back in the same situation you were in before,” he said.

As of press time, Kroczaleski was not available for comment for this story.?

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