Belding board selects interim superintendent, elementary principal

By Cory Smith • Last Updated 11:32 am on Thursday, June 28, 2012

Sara Shriver

Bruce Cook

BELDING — Belding Area Schools will soon have its new superintendent.

At a special school board meeting Wednesday night, board members voted unanimously to select Sara Shriver, the district’s director of instruction and technology, as the new interim superintendent.

According to Board of Education President Tom Humphreys, Shriver, who was hired in March from Lakeview Community Schools for her current position, will take on interim superintendent duties while continuing to serve as instruction and technology director.

Shriver will replace current Superintendent Leslie Mount, who will step down July 31 to take the position of assistant principal at Belding High School.

“Everyone was familiar with (Shriver) and we had some discussions with some people internally and looked at some external interim candidates, but everybody felt very comfortable with Mrs. Shriver’s experiences and what she has done within the district so far,” Humphreys said. “She’s confident in her ability to do this on an interim basis.”

Shriver said she is happy to take on the position.

“I haven’t had a lot of time to be excited about it,” she said. “When reality hits me, I will be very excited. I always like a good challenge and Belding has so many good initiatives going on throughout the district.”

Shriver said managing two positions will be difficult, but is confident she can get the job done with the support of everyone within the district.

“I never want to stop learning and If I can help and be part of a solution here, then I want to do it,” she said. “I have absolutely loved my first four months here and I have loved everything I have been able to do. The staff has been wonderful and helpful. It’s all about relationships and building trust and doing the right things for kids and families and I think we all have that drive and passion.

At Wednesday’s meeting, the board also voted unanimously to approve hiring Bruce Cook as the new principal at Woodview Elementary School after the resignation of former principal Julie Milewski in May.

“We recently interviewed a large group of people for the Ellis Elementary principal position and chose Tiffany Jackson for that position,” he said. “But our next choice was Bruce Cook out of the Wyoming Public Schools district and we feel that he will be an excellent person for this position.”

Humphreys said Cook’s administrative experience and knowledge of curriculum development will be an asset as he will assist Shriver with curriculum duties as she manages two roles.

“He is extremely qualified,” he said. “He has 10 years experience as an elementary principal plus he’s held assistant administrative positions. With his curriculum experience, we believe he will be able to assist Mrs. Shriver in her duties with curriculum management. He’s excited to come to our district with the opportunities that he sees here.”

Cook was unavailable for comment as he was away on conference.

Humphreys said Milewski is taking a curriculum position with the Ionia Intermediate School District.

“She will very much so still be working with Belding Area Schools,” Humphreys said. “It was a great opportunity for her.”

According to Humphreys, contracts are still in the negotiating stages for both Shriver and Cook, but said he anticipates Shriver’s contract “will come at a significant cost savings to the district,” as she will be serving her current position as well as the interim position in a duel capacity.

Humphreys said Shriver is expected to serve the position of interim superintendent for one year as the board continues to look at options for a full-time superintendent.

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