STANTON — The Central Montcalm Board of Education began a long Wednesday evening by interviewing — for a second time — three men for the position of superintendent.
Four hours later, they ended with an offer to Charles Muncatchy, the former superintendent of Jalen Rose Leadership Academy.
The board posed nine questions to Coopersville High School Principal Peter Bush, former Pittsford Area Schools Superintendent Andrew Shaw and Muncatchy.
“We started with a pool of 20, brought it down to six qualified candidates, and now down to three,” said Board President Roxanne Switzer. “Any one of the three would do a good job.”
The three candidates answered questions on leadership style, prioritizing, mentoring and professional goals for the next five to 10 years.
“I want to be a superintendent; it would be the next stepping stone in my leadership role,” said Bush, regarding his goals. “I’d be here to stay for at least the next five to 10 years. I’ve got another 12 to 15 years left in my career.”
Shaw’s reply was a two-part answer, concentrating on setting up an individual plan for each student and continuing his own education by earning a doctorate of education from Michigan State University.
Muncatchy was more specific.
“I’d like to be superintendent of Central Montcalm schools,” he answered with a grin, “I’m finishing up my career. I’d like to reside here, I don’t want to be a commuter, but part of the fabric of the community here.”
Following the interviews, the board heard from a representative of a 13-member student panel that met with the candidates prior to their interviews.
The students felt Bush set the bar high, Shaw not as much, but Muncatchy stole the show.
The six board members then ranked the candidates with a one, two or three. Of the six board members present, Bush garnered one first and three seconds, Shaw earned two firsts and Muncatchy placed with three firsts and three seconds.
The board then discussed the pluses and minuses of each candidate.
“To me, it comes down to Peter or Chuck,” Trustee Mark Grossbauer said. “Peter is more cutting edge and knew technology better, but Chuck is a true leader who would command respect, and would be a mentor for our new principals. I vote for Chuck.”
Trustee Bill Simpson agreed.
“Chuck is the most educated, the most experienced, and had a humble tone,” said Simpson. “I think he would be more of a team player.”
The board also read over comments about the candidates submitted by the 30-member audience, a mix of school personnel and community members. Their opinions were split.
“No matter who we pick, someone is not going to be happy,” Grossbauer noted.
After more discussion, Trustee Mike Barnwell made a motion to offer the position to Muncatchy, with Grossbauer seconding. A roll call vote of 6-0, with Trustee Bill Collins absent, passed. Muncatchy’s acceptance then led to a 6-0 vote from the board to work on negotiating a contract.
The board will reconvene to vote on accepting the contract once both parties agree, according to Switzer.
“Our plan was to have the new superintendent in place by Sept. 1, in part to let the candidate wrap up things in his current district,” said Switzer. “Since Chuck doesn’t have to do that, maybe we could get him in sooner. But that will all have to be worked out in the contract.”
Correspondent Lori Hansen is a Greenville-area resident.