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Benzie Central Schools Superintendent Search: First Round of Six Interviews

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

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. I have been attending meetings on this topic, including two days of public interviews that went on earlier this week.

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 would be interviewed.

The first three of the six candidates were interviewed on Monday, April 11, and the second set of three were interviewed on Tuesday, April 12. Below you will find audio recordings that I took at the interviews, which I hope will help the public to get somewhat of an idea of what each candidate is about.

Monday, April 11, 2016

  • Interview #1: Jeff Leslie, principal of Edwardsburg Public Schools (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)
  • Interview #2: Matt Olson, director of innovation at Lapeer Community Schools
  • Interview #3: Ron Kraft, current consultant and former superintendent of Hale Area Schools (also Harbor Beach Community Schools)

Tuesday, April 12, 2016

These interviews were open to the public, but attendees were not allowed to ask questions. (However, they were provided with feedback forms; this input will be used to develop questions for the second round of interviews.) Rather, each candidate answered the same 20 questions during one-hour interviews.

You can find more information about the entire process 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! (Note: 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 — I may have messed up some of the ideas/concepts, but I tried my best!)

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