2006-06-10 / Top News

5 Considered for School's Top Position

By Leslie Rott

"We've had a lot of interest in the position," School Board Trustee Trish Martin said when the Mackinac Island Board of Education held a special meeting Wednesday, May 31, to discuss the applications they received for superintendent.

Kent Bowden of Lansing, a mathematics teacher in the Alma School District, Beth Robb, a high school principal at Carson City, Roger Schrock, a superintendent at Three Rivers, Cynthia Leaman, a parochial school administrator at Grosse Pointe Woods, and Lee J. Turner of Owosso, a principal at Morrice Area Schools, are the five candidates who will be interviewed by the school board this month.

The board received 37 applications for the position and those were narrowed by the board to four candidates and four alternates.

The 29 candidates who were eliminated did not meet three criteria, according to Ken Drenth, a retired superintendent from Cedarville who is assisting the board in its search a lack of educational experience, not meeting the profile specified by the board, and having no experience at a public school.

For the successful candidates, the board looked also at leadership, community relations, and financial experience.

One board member questioned whether the board may be moving too quickly in its hiring of a new superintendent, who will replace Jack Dehring when he retires July 1.

"We need the right person, not the now person," said trustee Jason St. Onge, who suggested the self-imposed July 1 hiring deadline be moved to so the board can have more time to review the applicants.

School Board President Ben Mosley agreed.

"I'm not in a big hurry to get this done," he said, but the board will assess the need for delay until after the interviews.

All board members will be present for the interviews, which will be held on Monday, June 19, and Tuesday, June 20. On June 19, Ms. Robb will be interviewed at 5 p.m., Mr. Bowden at 6:30 p.m., and Ms. Leaman at 8 p.m. On June 20, Mr. Schrock will be interviewed at 6:30 p.m. and Mr. Turner will be interviewed at 8 p.m.

The interviews are open to the public.

Mr. Drenth will be giving the board a list of prepared questions and the board will also be able to add their own questions. The board has yet to decide whether they will be allowing questions from the public during the interviews.

Trustees have discussed visiting the towns of the final candidates, but the board has not scheduled any trips.

The board discussed what salary it will offer a new superintendent in executive session and has refused to release to the public the salary range it has agreed on. Superintendent Jack Dehring receives between $75,000 and $80,000 a year.

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