Board narrows superintendent search to six candidates
After regular board business was transacted at Monday night’s meeting Tecumseh school trustees went into closed session to consider a slate of 15 applicants for the superintendent of schools position that is being vacated by retiring chief administrator Mike McAran.
School board President Ed Tritt explained that closed session was required because some of the candidates had requested that their names not be made public until the trustees had narrowed the field to the final few who will be interviewed in open session.
Tritt said after the closed session, which lasted about an hour, that the board reconvened in open session for a roll-call vote of 6-1 for a set of six candidates whom the board had reached consensus on in the executive meeting. The dissenting vote was cast by trustee Matt Oren.
“In closed session we went through each of the 15 candidates and each board member commented on why they liked the candidate or didn’t like the candidate,” said Tritt. “At this point, they are all known only by a number, no names were used.” Any candidate who received a majority was included on the final list of applicants to advance to the interview stage.
The interviews will take place January 29, 30, and 31. Interviews will be scheduled at 7 p.m. and 8:30 p.m. each day and will take place in the administrative service center board meeting room, 212 N. Ottawa St.
Richard Dunham, a Michigan Association of School Board superintendent search facilitator, is coordinating the application process for the board and serving as the communication channel between the trustees and the applicants. He contacted the candidates who made the cut to ascertain if all were still interested in pursuing their intent to become the new TPS superintendent. All six agreed to move on to the interviewing stage.
“The process has gone very well,” Tritt said. “I think we all had some candidates that we would have liked to have seen in the final six, but that’s how the process works.”
The applicants in the order that they will be interviewed are: Carl Shultz, current principal at Fitzgerald High School in Warren, Mich.; Scott Riley, superintendent at Camden-Frontier Schools in Camden, Mich.; Sean McNatt, superintendent at Breckenridge Community Schools in Breckenridge, Mich., (between Alma and Saginaw); Dr. Kelly Coffin, assistant superintendent for special education at Lenawee Intermediate School District; Dr. Michael Osborne, superintendent for the combined Hudson and Morenci school districts; and Sharon Irvine, executive director of human resources at Ypsilanti Public Schools.
After the initial round of public interviews, the board will likely select two or three candidates to interview in a second round the week of February 11. In some instances, representatives from the board choose to make a site visit to the school districts of final candidates. At the outset of the search, Dunham advised the board that he found such site visits of little value. In his experience, he said, the subjects that are interviewed regarding the candidate being investigated are not always candid in their responses.
If the board deems a site visit unnecessary, the trustees could make a selection as early as the week of February 18 and enter into contract negotiations with the finalist.