Centreville targets selecting new sup't by end of April

Timeline outlined for Centreville superintendent search

CENTREVILLE — Centreville Public Schools could have their next permanent superintendent selected by the end of April.

During Monday’s CPS Board of Education meeting, the board participated in a planning session for its superintendent search, facilitated by Michigan Association of School Boards (MASB) search consultant Pat Kreger, who joined the board meeting virtually. The board approved MASB to help assist with the search at their previous meeting on Jan. 10.

The workshop helped the board develop a timeline that saw a preliminary posting for the position posted on Tuesday, with formal candidate criteria selection scheduled for its Feb. 14 board meeting. According to the timeline outlined by the board, the posting would close around April 5, with a list of first round interview candidates coming back to the board at their April 11 board meeting. First round interviews would take place on Saturday, April 23, with second round interviews for remaining candidates taking place Saturday, April 30.

A site visit for second round candidates could also be considered by the board at a later date.

The new superintendent for the district would begin on July 1, with a salary range of $110,000 to $125,000 per year. Current Centreville Junior/Senior High School principal Chad Brady will be the interim superintendent until July 31.

Kreger, a former superintendent for Union City schools for 12 years, told board members the market for superintendents is currently a very competitive one.

“It’s going to be a busy superintendent search season, not just in southwest Michigan but all over the place,” Kreger said. “The superintendent searches right now are market-driven, the pool is small, and very competitive.”

During his presentation, Kreger said the process for the search usually takes about 13 weeks once the preliminary posting is made, with the preparation process involving a stakeholder input session and online survey of what qualifications and criteria they want the new superintendent to have. Kreger said he would then meet with the board to draft criteria for the official posting.

“The criteria would be something like three years’ of administrative experience, a master’s degree, teaching experience, things like that, but that comes out of the survey results,” Kreger said. “I share that all with the board and it helps you guide your decision-making and actually helps me with vetting candidates for you as well.”

Following that, the interview process would involve anywhere between three and six candidates, Kreger said. He added that candidates won’t be made public until they have accepted a first round of interviews. Kreger said the board should refrain from checking candidates until they have accepted an interview, and in between the first and second round of interviews, they would be able to research the candidates. Concerns board members have with candidates would be directed to MASB.

Kreger said MASB will also screen and conduct background checks on candidates, and will assist in interview preparations.

Under the Open Meetings Act, Kreger said, all meetings, interviews, deliberations and decisions related to the search process will be done in public, with the only closed session coming if the board wants to negotiate a contract with the candidate they select.

Kreger warned the board to not make guarantees to any candidate during the recruitment phase, if they encourage someone to apply for the position.

“It makes it difficult for the rest of the board. The board functions as a whole, and four votes is what carries a motion on a board, not one person. Encouraging people is one thing, and saying ‘This is your job to get’ is another,” Kreger said, asking board members to direct candidates to him.

Kreger said there are many professional accomplishments the board can look for in candidates, including advanced degrees, professional development specific to school superintendency, or a history of district-wide responsibilities, such as contract negotiations, operations and budget development.

When it came to selecting dates for interviews, Board President Jeff Troyer sad the last time they did a superintendent search, the first round of interviews was held on Saturdays. Due to other conflicts during the week for other board members, they opted to do Saturdays for both rounds of interviews.

Robert Tomlinson can be reached at 279-7488 ext. 22 or robert@threeriversnews.com.

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