Central Montcalm names interim superintendent

By Lori Hansen • Last Updated 9:42 am on Friday, June 06, 2014

STANTON — Amy Meinhardt may be starting a fashion trend for the Central Montcalm Public School district. Meinhardt currently wears three hats in her roles as special education coordinator, technology coordinator and half-time Central Montcalm Elementary School principal.

A fourth hat was added at a special meeting Wednesday night as the school board voted unanimously to name Meinhardt as interim superintendent.

“I’ve served in an assistant superintendent position, though it is no longer called that at Central Office,” said Meinhardt, who will assume the role beginning July 1, following the resignation of current Superintendent Kristi Teall, who will begin a new position as superintendent with the St. Louis school district.

The school board set up parameters of a superintendent search timeline beginning with the posting of the superintendent availability and acceptance of application today and running through 4 p.m. June 23.

“We have the same job description we had two years ago,” Board President Roxanne Switzer said. “But (we) changed information such as enrollment, staffing, mils, members of the board and financing.”

She explained that an ad hoc search team committee will look over all resumes and discern which, if any, “are the cream of the crop.”

The board would then do background checks and set up interview schedules, with interviews taking place July 16-18.

“The ad hoc committee might select three or six, and after the interviews, decide if they want a second interview with any candidate,” Switzer said.

The goal is to make a recommendation to hire in August with the new superintendent in place by Sept. 1.

Jim Rogers, school board member and member of the ad-hoc superintendent search team said, “We looked over all the qualified leaders and we were all in agreement that Amy was the most qualified for the position of interim superintendent.”

The agreement is for Meinhardt to receive a stipend of $3,000 per month and to serve from July 1 through August 30, contingent on the hiring of a new superintendent.

“If we are able to hire someone prior to Sept. 1, is Amy okay with that?” questioned school board member Bill Simpson.

“If we make an offer, say, in the end of July, it may take 10 days or so to make a counter-offer, and get an acceptance,” school board member Mark Grossbauer said. “Then the person, likely a high school principal or another superintendent, will have to put in their own minimum two weeks’ notice to their current employer. It’s not likely we will have anyone in place much earlier than Sept. 1.”

“We are in the middle of Montcalm County,” Switzer said. “Not everyone wants to live smack in the middle of Montcalm County. But it would also be nice to have Amy still on board to help them get acclimated.”

Meinhardt said her new role will come as a challenge.

“I will do all the things a superintendent does,” she said. “Most people have the idea we have summers off, but we don’t. We are busy getting ready to ramp things up for the fall.

“I do think,” she added, “that summer is going to be very short.”

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