Four candidates vie for EPS interim superintendent position

EVART —  Evart Public Schools Board of Education members will interview four candidates for the district's interim superintendent position, which will last from Jan. 1 through June 30.

Due to current superintendent Howard Hyde retiring in December, the board decided in August to hire an interim superintendent until the 2016 fiscal year begins in July. During the interim's administration, the district will seek a permanent candidate. Mecosta Osceola Intermediate School District Superintendent Curtis Finch will help the district with the process of hiring a full-time superintendent to begin serving on July 1, 2016. The service provided by the MOISD is free of charge to EPS.

At a board meeting on Oct. 12, Finch discussed 11 candidates with board members, outlining each candidate. Board members narrowed the list down to four after asking a series of questions about each.

"I was very impressed with the professionalism of the board," Finch said following the meeting. "They asked great questions and they were very thoughtful about the questions they asked."

Finalists include Ron Kraft, Shirley Howard, Doniel Pummel and Steven Westhoff.

Kraft is a former superintendent and transition specialist of Hale Area Schools, a former superintendent of Harbor Beach Community Schools, and a former middle school principal and special education coordinator for Reed City Area Public Schools and Gladwin Public Schools.

Howard is the former superintendent of the Chippewa Hills School District, a former principal at Weidman Elementary School and a former elementary teacher at Mecosta Elementary School.

Pummel is a current instructor at the Grand Valley State University College of Education, a former superintendent, district curriculum director and special education supervisor for Clare Public Schools and a former principal at Grayling High School and Grayling Middle School.

Westhoff is the former superintendent of Reed City Area Public Schools, a former principal at North Rockford Middle School, a former assistant principal at North Rockford Middle School and a former teacher at Rockford Senior High School.

Interviews are scheduled at 5:15 p.m. and 7:15 p.m. on Thursday, Oct. 15, and at 5:15 p.m. and 7:15 p.m. on Monday, Oct. 19, in the board room at the Evart Middle School building. Interviews are open to the public. The board is expected to chose a candidate to fill the interim superintendent position following the meeting on Oct. 19.

Board members also approved a motion to hire a number of coaches for winter sports.

Kris Morgan will coach varsity boys basketball, Glen Tappling, junior varsity boys basketball, Stephanie Rodenbo, eighth grade boys basketball, Josh Johnson, seventh grade boys basketball, Paul Higgins, varsity girls basketball, Jay Wallace, junior varsity girls basketball, Jason O'Dell, eighth grade girls basketball, Matt Tiedt, seventh grade girls basketball, Marty Pattee, varsity competitive cheer, and Ashley Maxwell, middle school competitive cheer.

In more business, the board approved a motion to hire Jonni Hebert for a second-grade teacher position, Larry Millen for a middle school special education position, Connie Douglas as a bus driver, Jenny Rounds and Dina Wetters as Odyssey of the Mind coaches, Cheryl Richmond for a mentor to a teacher position and Christina Booher as an ESCEP preschool aid.