Superintendent search plan discussed with board

LEROY — If all goes as planned, Pine River Area Schools could select its new superintendent as early as March.

Current superintendent Jim Ganger is retiring at the end of the 2013-14 school year. The board approved a motion at the October board meeting to Michigan Leadership Institute’s involvement. The company quoted a flat price of $5,500 and the promise to help the district with the search again free of charge if the new superintendent fails or leaves on his own accord within the first year of his position.

A possible plan and itinerary was discussed at the Nov. 11 board of education meeting by Michigan Leadership Institute Regional President Scott Crosby.

“I’ve been looking forward to this opportunity,” Crosby, who will facilitate the research, said at the beginning of his presentation. “I believe I can find you an exceptional superintendent that you’ll be very happy with.”

The goal is for the board members to create a candidate profile — or a set of requirements and preferred attributes — they would like to see from each candidate who applies for the superintendent position. The profile consists of details including the candidate’s personal educational background, work experience and years of experience, leadership qualities and desired traits.

Crosby said he also will compile a district profile for the candidates, which will include general information, its annual budget, points of district pride, the surrounding community and more.

It is the board’s responsibility to set up the criteria it would like required or preferred. The board also has the option to hire whoever it deems best for the district. Crosby said it is common for a district of Pine River’s size to hire someone without superintendent experience, but it is uncommon to hire someone without administration experience. He recommends asking for a requirement of a master’s degree, preferably in education administration and a preferred minimum of five years as a building principal. A three-year contract would be wise to offer in the beginning, Crosby added.

The timeline Crosby has proposed covers the months of December through March. After approval of the candidate profile the board desires at the Dec. 9 meeting, the job would be posted and applications would be accepted through Jan. 31, 2014. A screening of candidates would be performed during the week of Feb. 3, 2014 and Crosby would select a number of candidates he feels would best fit the district. A first round of public interviews would take place around Feb. 18 and 19, 2014 and the candidates would be narrowed once more. A second round of interviews would take place around Feb. 24, 2014 and the board would be able to make an offer to the candidate it feels would best fit the district’s needs. As early as March, the board could approve the district’s new superintendent.

“We guarantee this search,” Crosby reiterated. “We’re sure you’re going to like the candidate you select.

The next Pine River Schools Board of Education meeting will take place at 6 p.m. on Dec. 9 in the middle school library.