Tecumseh School Board begins interviews to fill superintendent post
The long-anticipated interview process to find the successor for retiring Tecumseh Public Schools Supt. Mike McAran began Tuesday, Jan. 29, with the first two of six candidates taking their place, one at a time, before the school board and members of the general public in the schools’ administrative service center, 212 N. Ottawa St.
The candidates were Carl Shultz, a principal at Fitzgerald High School, which is located in Warren, Mich., and Scott Riley, the superintendent/K-12 principal/special education director at Camden-Frontier Schools, Camden, Mich., in Hillsdale County.
The interviews continued Wednesday, Jan. 30, with Sean McNatt, superintendent of Breckenridge Community Schools in Breckenridge, Mich., (between Alma and Saginaw), and Dr. Kelly Coffin, assistant superintendent for special education at Lenawee Intermediate School District. Wednesday’s interviews occurred after deadline for this issue of the Tecumseh Herald.
The last two applicants to be interviewed in the first round will be Dr. Michael Osborne, superintendent of the combined school districts of Hudson and Morenci, and Sharon Irvine, executive director of human resources at Ypsilanti Public Schools.
Osborne will lead-off at 7 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 31, and Irvine will follow at 8:30 p.m. All interviews are open to the public and the school board will select two or possibly three candidates to call back for follow-up interviews at dates and times to be announced.
Before Tuesday’s interviews began, Michigan Association of School Board superintendent search facilitator Richard Dunham explained to the audience that the school trustees had prepared 21 questions that will be posed to each superintendent applicant. Audience members were allowed to submit written questions for each candidate to be asked after the board questions.
Shultz, the first interviewee, began by reviewing his qualifications, which include an education specialist degree in school administration from Oakland University; a master of arts degree in special education from Madonna University; and a bachelor of science degree in secondary education from Wayne State University. He is working on a Ph.D. degree in educational leadership at Oakland University, which he expects to complete this year. He has both a state teaching certificate and administrator certificate and was North Middle School interim principal and Belleville High School assistant principal.
The first question from the board asked what Shultz would do to promote visibility and transparency in his office and the school district if he were chosen.
“They are the cornerstones of administration,” Shultz said. “As superintendent I would communicate with the board, the community, the administrators, and staff members to promote the vision of each building and district level. I learned very early that if you tell the truth, you don’t have to ever worry about what you said.”
The following 20 questions, plus those from the audience, dealt with topics that any chief administrator encounters in running a school, business, or organization, including cutbacks, budgeting, community relations, school and business alliance, conflict resolution, and other subjects.
The final question from the board was whether Shultz would move to the school district if he were selected to be superintendent.
Shultz had earlier informed the board that his wife, Jessica, who was in the audience, was also a high school principal and that the couple had recently purchased a home in Monroe County. He said that they had no plans to sell the house and move into the Tecumseh school district. “My wife and I will not be moving here, but I will be at every event.”
After a brief recess, Riley took his place before the board and briefed the trustees on his qualifications, which include attendance at the University of Toledo where he majored in business and a bachelor of arts degree in physical/health education from Adrian College, followed by a master’s degree in educational administration from Bowling Green State University. He holds a Michigan Administrative Certificate K-12 and teaching certification for health, physical education, and business in both Michigan and Ohio.
Previous to his current position as superintendent at Camden-Frontier, he was a PE/health teacher and boys’ varsity basketball coach at Anthony Wayne High School in Waterville, Ohio. He was also athletic director/PE teacher, boys varsity basketball coach at Hillsdale High School and, early in his career, business manager at Clift Pontiac GMC in Adrian.
Riley began by emphasizing his close ties to Lenawee County where he grew up and attended school through college.
Regarding the first in the battery of questions from the board about transparency and visibility during his tenure at TPS if selected, Riley said that both qualities were indispensable.
“Visibility and communication build relationships along with transparency,” he told the board. “They are key components of my administration. I’m usually the first one at school and the last one to leave. I treat everyone equally, and I’m known for my consistency and continuity.”
Responding to the final question about potential residency within the school district if hired as superintendent, Riley said that it would be a possibility in the future. He said that both he and his wife of 23 years currently live in Toledo and his wife works in Perrysburg, Ohio. “Right now I would rather be on the road than have her on the road,” he said, “but we were both raised in Lenawee County, and it is possible that she could find a similar position in Ann Arbor. If the opportunity presents itself, we would move back here.”
A report on subsequent superintendent candidate interviews will appear in following issues of the Tecumseh Herald.