Central Montcalm hires new superintendent

By Lori Hansen • Last Updated 1:12 pm on Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Kristi Teall

STANTON — It took the Central Montcalm Public School Board of Education only 10 minutes into its special meeting Sunday to unanimously agree to offer the superintendent position to one of two candidates.

It took Kristi Teall only two minutes to accept the offer.

Teal, who is currently the district’s curriculum director and assessment director, was contacted by phone following the board’s decision.

“I think we would be hard pressed to find a better candidate than Kristi,” said Board Member Bill Collins.

Last Thursday, the board interviewed Teall and Troy Lindley of Newaygo. The board opted to reconvene Sunday after they had the opportunity to individually ask questions of Teall and of other staff members concerning Teall.

“To me, it was the difference between night and day between the two candidates,” said Board Member Mark Grossbauer.

The board recommended the Salary Committee meet within the next few weeks to draft a contract to offer Teall.

“The new superintendent is going to wear many more hats than only one,” said Board Vice President Bill Simpson, who is one of three members of the Salary Committee. “We cannot offer an assistant superintendent position and so she will take full responsibility and must have a knowledge and ability to run this district.”

The board also discussed, but tabled until April’s meeting, the option of hiring a police liaison.

“The deputy would mainly focus on being on the sixth through 12th grade campuses, and likely to be in the parking lots before and after school,” said Superintendent Jake Helms, who is retiring at the end of this school year. “He could also do things like the water safety programs and other projects we need.”

Helms explained there is currently $40,000 of funding that has specific criteria on its usage. Hiring an officer would come under those guidelines. The officer would be in uniform and on-campus 6-1/2 to 7 hours per day on days school is in session.

“Does the $40,000 carry over?” asked Grossbauer. “My biggest concern is we would be spending the money in the right place. We are not sure yet how we are going to get by and until we get more direction there, I am not sure we are doing the best we can for the most kids.”

Helms added that several other local districts — Lakeview, Montabella and Carson City-Crystal — are also considering the possibility of an on-campus officer. Greenville currently has a Greenville Department of Public Safety officer on board.

Helms said the presence of an officer is a deterrent to fights, drug usage and more. The district expelled 13 students this year, mostly on drug-related charges.

“I’d like to table this to a later date,” Grossbauer said. “There are too many questions yet .”

Correspondent Lori Hansen is a Greenville-area resident.

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