Clinton School Board selects McNatt for superintendent

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Kevin Beazley, Clinton Community Schools athletic director and Clinton High School math teacher, withdrew his superintendent candidacy in a letter to board members on April 15. He cited attacks from colleagues on himself and his family, especially his blind son, as the reason for his withdrawal. At a Wednesday board meeting, members voted unanimously to offer a contract to Sean McNatt, superintendent for Breckenridge Community Schools. Photo by Mary Kay McPartlin.

A special school board meeting on Wednesday evening finished with a unanimous vote by the Clinton Community Schools board members to enter into contract negotiations with Sean McNatt, Superintendent of Breckenridge Community Schools. Before the decision was reached, Superintendent David P. Pray spoke to the school board and the staff and community members in attendance at the meeting.

Pray thanked the board members for their work on the superintendent search, and then expressed disappointment with the negative response of some staff members about the search process, as well as a negative campaign that seemed to be directed at one of the candidates. Following these statements, Pray then read a letter from Kevin Beazley requesting to withdraw his candidacy from the superintendent position.

“It wasn’t until just recently I was made aware of the letters, phone calls and emails being sent to you, that viciously attacked my integrity, family, character and leadership ability. What were the most disturbing were the attacks on family, my wife and especially about my son Adam, who is blind,” Beazley’s letter said. “I can only say that I am deeply saddened by these most recent turn of events and the defamation of character that has taken place behind my back. I am an educational leader in this district and to hear about deception among colleagues regarding my children is devastating.”

The letter also stated, “This district needs the next Superintendent to have the support of its stakeholders to continue maintaining academic excellence and pride. Based on the lack of support from my colleagues and the well-being of my family, I am withdrawing my application. I only want what is best for the district and at this time, that person is Sean McNatt.”

Board members expressed surprise at Beazley’s withdrawal, and then offered support about his value to the district. Each board member then shared positive and negative thoughts about the search process.

Five members of Clinton Community Schools made a site visit at Breckenridge Community Schools last Friday, April 12. President of the Clinton Education Association Carma Roesch, Business Manager Carol Wahl, and board members Don Hinman, Shirley Harris and Dale Wingerd shared their positive on-site observations of McNatt’s management.

Following this discussion, the Michigan Association of School Board Superintendent Search Consultant Richard Dunham directed a vote from Board members about their support for McNatt as superintendent. The vote was six to one in favor, with Dale Wingerd as the only “no” vote. Wingerd believed the position should be reopened. The final vote, however, to enter into contract negotiations was unanimous for McNatt.

“I, along with the school board, employees, community, believe Mr. McNatt is the right person to lead the district,” said Pray. “We will all do our best to support him allowing Clinton Community Schools to remain one of the most highly respected school districts in the area.”

“I’m flattered and honored to be Clinton Community Schools next superintendent,” McNatt said when contacted on Thursday by the Herald.

He is looking forward to meeting with Pray and starting the transition. “We’re going to be setting up some dates to be getting together in the near future,” said McNatt. “I definitely want to have lunch and pick his brain.”

McNatt was not able to meet with Beazley in his position of athletic director during the interview process, and is looking forward to a future meeting. “I understand Kevin has served as athletic director for two years and is a graduate of Clinton Community Schools,” McNatt said. “People have shared with me that he is honest and passionate about the district and I hope to meet with him soon as well.”

Also during the meeting the board members went into a closed session to discuss the expulsion of a student. After returning to open session, the board voted unanimously to expel the student for the rest of the school year.

Congratulations were also offered to Clinton High School Principal Tim Wilson, who has been offered the position of superintendent for Carrollton Public Schools.




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