Central Montcalm conducts superintendent interviews

By Lori Hansen • Last Updated 7:36 pm on Friday, March 23, 2012

STANTON — The Central Montcalm Public School Board of Education will re-interview their own curriculum and assessment director Sunday for the top administrative post in the district.

Troy Lindley, a former coach for Montabella Community Schools and current middle school principal for Newaygo Public Schools, and Kristi Teall, curriculum and assessment director for Central Montcalm, were interviewed Thursday evening by the school board. The questions covered a variety of topics such as technology, board/administration relations and school improvements.

Following the nearly one-hour interviews, the board discussed what action to take.

“I don’t think a (second) interview is necessary, but I think there is more information we might like to gather,” said Board Member Mark Grossbauer. “I have some more questions for Kristi.”

Board President Doug Bowen asked the 20 audience members, by a show of hands, which candidate they would choose. The overwhelming majority favored Teall.

“I would like to not rush into anything,” Board Secretary Roxanne Switzer said. “A few years ago we made a quick decision on a personnel issue and it ended up being something we later regretted. I don’t want to do that again and would like some time to gather our thoughts.”

Superintendent Jake Helms, who is retiring at the end of this school year, recommended board members compile a list of questions they would like ask Teall and let him review them prior to assure they are within the realm of legal interview questions.

“Do you know what you would hear, if you would go and ask the staff members what they think?” asked Becky West, a third grade teacher for the district.

“We would do an on-site visit if it were the other candidate. If we asked those who interact with Kristi, if we would get any kind of reaction that would surprise us,” said Grossbauer.

Raeann Borton, who has two children in the district, also shared her thoughts.

“I am not familiar with Mrs. Teall because we are fairly new to the district,” she said. “I do know Mr. Lindley from when he coached in Montabella. I don’t doubt that Mrs. Teall knows her facts and she knows the numbers, but I do know that Mr. Lindley is a real people person. He would be at the ballgames, he would be active in the community and he would get to know your name. I get the feeling everybody here has already made up their minds and am not sure Mr. Lindley has gotten a fair shake.”

The school board will meet with Teall again at 2 p.m. Sunday at the high school media center. The public is welcome to attend.

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