COMMERCIAL-NEWS | ROBERT TOMLINSON - Three Rivers Community Schools Board of Education President Erin Nowak discusses the various search firms the district could use for its upcoming superintendent search during Monday’s board meeting.

TR school board to consider search firms for sup't search

THREE RIVERS — Three Rivers Community Schools’ Board of Education could be using a search firm to help conduct its upcoming superintendent search.

At the end of Monday’s board meeting, Board President Erin Nowak said the district has received proposals from three different firms to help handle the search, the Michigan Leadership Institute (MLI), the Michigan Association of School Boards (MASB), and a third firm recommended to the board by community members. No formal motion was taken Monday on the firm the district would use, but a decision is expected at their next meeting on Feb. 7.

Nowak said the district has normally used MASB to handle similar searches in the past, but also mentioned that MLI conducted Constantine Public Schools’ last superintendent search.

“I heard about [MLI] doing the Constantine superintendent search, and their board was incredibly pleased not only with the search process but with the follow-up and the measuring MLI gives to the superintendents after the district hires,” Nowak said. “MASB is obviously who we’ve used in the past.”

The third firm, Nowak said, was brought to her attention by two community members who “passed along” former Schoolcraft Community Schools Superintendent Rusty Stitt on to her. Nowak said Stitt is retired as a superintendent and works for the firm, which is based in Colorado and is doing superintendent searches in Michigan.

Nowak said the district needs to determine “how far and wide” to take the search for superintendent, which may impact how much a search could cost the district.

“In the proposals, there’s a lot of fees associated with national searches, and I know we want to draw the best candidates we can here,” Nowak said. No decision was mentioned one way or the other on that particular point, but said they intend to use a firm unless there was a candidate that “we feel is a shoo-in for the position.”

Trustee Nichole Cover commented that using a firm “takes any bias” out of the search.

Nowak said it could take approximately 14 weeks to do the search once a decision is made on choosing a firm or not. The district is targeting a July 1 start date for the new superintendent once one is chosen.

“I’d like everyone to look over the information and shoot over any questions they have,” Nowak told the board. “I’d like to have a decision on what that’s going to look like on Feb. 7.”

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

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