School board begins superintendent search

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By Katie Morang

The Holt Journal

 

At Monday night’s board meeting, the Holt Public School Board voted to use the Michigan Association of School Boards as an independent party to aid in its search for its next superintendent.

The board quickly came to a unanimous decision that the association was the best choice, out of three organizations under consideration.

“I had a pros-and-cons argument all set to fight for MASB and I was so ecstatic when I realized that we all felt confident in them and wanted to use them,” said Board Trustee Julie Bureau.

Holt’s current superintendent, Dr. Johnny Scott, will be retiring on June 30 to spend more time with his grandchildren: Carter, Raegen and Harper.

“Since I retire at the end of June, the end goal would be that they have my successor named by the end of late May or early June,” said Scott.

Now that a search firm has been chosen, the board needs to determine what kind of candidate it is looking for.

The next step is that the association is going to have a first meeting with us by the end of next week. We’re excited to get the process going,” said Board Trustee Lori Murphy. “MASB will be helping to coordinate feedback sessions and conduct surveys that will hopefully be able to help paint a picture of what the community is looking for in our next superintendent,” she said.

“All of us really feel that we have to listen to what the community wants on this. We’ve had a lot of changes over the past couple of years in Holt and there’s been a bit of a divided community, and it’s very important for us to try and listen to everyone,” said Julie Bureau.

In November, voters replaced three board members who had supported the creation of a pre-college program and schedule for 12th graders.

Bureau stressed that the association isn’t being used to tell the board who they want, but rather narrow the search and help keep the process objective.

“What I took away from the MASB meeting is that we need to look at all the applications. MASB is just going to help weed out the ones we definitely don’t want,” said Bureau. “We won’t know names until first interview are accepting which keeps it above board, which, to me, that’s what the community wants,” she added.

Scott said he will not really be involved in the search process.

“My role is just to give the firm and the board any information they might need,” said Scott. “It’s good to allow a professional search firm to do what they do best,” he added.

After the board and search team have looked at applications, the board will narrow the search to three to six applicants and begin the interview process.

“We’re still early on in the process and a lot is still to be determined,” said Murphy.

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