Central Montcalm schools focus on superintendent search

By Lori Hansen • Last Updated 11:38 am on Tuesday, February 21, 2012

STANTON — Though the Central Montcalm Public School Board of Education does the official hiring, board members want input from the staff and community on the qualifications they are looking for in the person who will replace Superintendent Jake Helms.

Helms is retiring June 30.

“We had sent out a survey to the staff to hear what they are looking for in a candidate,” Board Secretary Roxanne Switzer said. “We met today in a workshop to hear more, to hear their ideas.”

The survey also was available on the school website where community members could respond, said Helms.
“Twenty percent of those responding online were from members of the community,” said Helms.

Following a professional development day, nearly 30 staff members stayed for Monday’s workshop, board president Doug Bowen said.

“It was an opportunity where we could accept their ideas,” Bowen said. “The board is the one who does the actual hiring, that is our job, but we want to do it with an open mind and know the staff wants too.”

Vice President Bill Simpson said the workshop helped to narrow down five qualifications.

“The staff suggested the superintendent wear more than one hat, such as also serve as a business manger or a curriculum director,” Simpson said. “They also want someone who is visionary, shows leadership skills, accountability, can work with the unions, lead us in 21st century learning. They came up with really great suggestions.”

The position has been posted and hard copies of applications will be accepted through Feb. 29.
The superintendent search committee will review applications on March 5 and will present a handful of potential candidates to the full board on March 8, said Helms.

Candidate background checks will be made March 12-16 and the board will do a contract review at their regularly scheduled meeting March 19.

“We would like to have a handful of applicants for the board to interview on March 22,” said Helms.
The interviews will be open to the public.

If second interviews are necessary, they would be conducted on March 28 with a special board meeting on March 29 to award the job with a finalized contract to one applicant.

“It is an aggressive schedule but we are hoping to have it done prior to spring break,” Helms said. “We are trying to expedite the process and have a two-month transition period.”

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