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Benzie Central Schools Superintendent Search: Second Round of Three Interviews

Notes, quotes, and paraphrases from the interview process, as well as audio to listen to.

As I mentioned in the last blog post on this topic, Dave Micinski has been the superintendent of Benzie Central Schools for the past 25 years, and he is retiring on June 30, 2016, at the end of the 2015-2016 school year. Thus, Benzie Central Schools is now in the process of hiring a new superintendent.

From a total of 41 total applicants — six from other states, 10 women, and nine current superintendents, with the rest being principals or working in a central office — the Benzie Central School board narrowed the pool to six candidates who were interviewed. There were 15-20 community members in the audience for the first set of three interviews, conducted on Monday, April 11, and there were about 18-22 community members in the audience on Tuesday, April 12. (Both days, this included two people from the press and about five to seven teachers, plus about two to three current and/or former administrators.) You can read transcripts and listen to all six of those interviews here.

After these interviews, the school board then narrowed the pool to three finalists, who will be interviewed for a second time on Wednesday, April 27. Second interviews were given to:

  • Matt Olson, director of innovation at Lapeer Community Schools, 5:30pm — listen to his first interview here; read his first interview here.
  • Jeff Leslie, principal of Edwardsburg Public Schools, 6:45pm — listen to his first interview here; read his first interview here. (I want to apologize because only the first 35 minutes or so of this interview is available; I didn’t realize that my recording device had turned off.)
  • Coby Fletcher, high school principal of East Lansing Public Schools, 8pm — listen to his first interview here, read his first interview here.

Above you will find links to the audio files, notes, quotes, paraphrases, and partial transcriptions of the first round of interviews for the three candidates which made it to the final round; I hope that these will help the public to get somewhat of an idea of what each candidate is about and perhaps help you to form questions for each candidate that you will submit to the board. (Note: as mentioned before, I’ve tried to transcribe and paraphrase a bit of the interviews, but please don’t take them verbatim — I didn’t have time to transcribe the whole interviews since each is about an hour, so I may have messed up some of the ideas/concepts, but I tried my best!)

The public is allowed — and encouraged! — to attend the second round of interviews but may not speak aloud or ask questions of the candidates during the interviews: however, the board welcomes the public to submit questions ahead of time via email that they will take into consideration when they interview these candidates.

Contact the school board using these emails:

  • President Doug Taylor: taylord@benzieschools.net; DougTaylor@chartermi.net
  • Brian Childs: childsb@benzieschools.net; brianchilds@yahoo.com
  • Lori Cota: benziedemsecretary@gmail.com; cotal@benzieschools.net
  • Scott Gray: grays@benzieschools.net; graysexcavating@centurytell.net
  • Stephanie Johnston: johnstons@benzieschools.net
  • Lorraine Nordbeck: nordbeckl@benzieschools.net
  • Tom Stapleton: stapletont@benzieschools.net
  • MASB superintendent search coordinator Tom White: tomwhite@masb.org

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You can find more information about the entire process of finding a superintendent at this link; there are lots of ways that the public can get involved, so please do — this decision could impact the next 25 years of our local school system!

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