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Superintendent Search: Finalists

January 10, 2013

The Rochester Community Schools Board of Education has selected Dr. Richards, Superintendent of Fraser Public Schools, and Dr. Shaner, Executive Director of Instruction and Technology of Warren Consolidated Schools, for the superintendent finalists.

The Board of Education began with a thirty minute discussion of the positive attributes of each candidate.  After the discussion, Dr. Richards was the choice of all board members and were equally split on Dr. Martin and Dr. Shaner.  They debated between Dr. Martin and Dr. Shaner for a while, most viewing Dr. Martin as more philosophical and his background as a closer fit to the district and Dr. Shaner as more thought-provoking and intellectual while providing vast amounts of information.  After discussion, the BOE tipped slightly towards Dr. Shaner.

More on each candidate’s attributes below the jump.

The Board of Education believed the candidates had the following strengths:

Dr. Robert Martin: Tenacious learning, J-Curve instead of Bell Curve, Out in front, authentic, hands-on, sought buy-in, wants to understand to analyze, building teacher capacity, joyous, faith-filled, warm, creative, accelerating students at the top end of the curve, entire community is accountable, unquestionable integrity, wide variety of experiences, passionate about education, would be visible in our district, charismatic leader, passionate about closing achievement gap, desire to reach all students, wants parents to be integrally involved.

Mrs. Cindy Weber: wants to involve stakeholders, innovative in use of technology, passionate about teacher effectiveness model, supports staff instead of micro-managing, passionate about teaching and learning, integrity, variety of experiences, shared sacrifice, many years of experience as superintendent, been in other states other than Michigan, broader perspective, proven problem solver, managed tight budget without cutting programs, involvement in community, would be visible in community, believes “the buck stops here”.

Dr. David Richards: very impressive educational credentials, ten years in our district, customized educational plan, importance of strategic plan, shared vision aligned with shared language, need to defend and protect but reinvent to be relevant, believes RCS has great potential, wants to take RCS to the next level, loves RCS, great achievements in technology, sees turmoil as opportunity, put performing arts academy in Fraser, student engagement is key and students need to own their own learning, presented transition plan, understands servant leadership, done creative things in Fraser, created cultural shift in community to support progress, visionary, positive leader, understands data-driven decision making, collaborative, blending learning, centrality of principles, successful sitting superintendent, showed courage in making decisions, book studies with staff and board, would defend and protect teachers and public education.

Dr. Robert Shaner: very impressive academic credentials, diverse life, embodies RCS vision, similar challenges in current district, has significant responsibility, leads from the front by creating vision, establishes shared clarity of purpose, military background, in the classroom asking “What did you learn?” and “Why is that important?”, exudes leadership, answers were forthright and succinct, passionate about learning, values traditional education, not afraid of change, global experience, comes from a big district, was able to turn around high school, international higher-ed exchange with China, wants to protect creativity, outstanding leader, always went back to student achievement, teaching and leading is a vocation, teaching was integral part of each career choice, tenacity of leadership, reflective, humble, strength of leadership, straightforward.

Remaining Events

The Board of Education and representatives of the community will conduct site visits next week.  The Board Trustees will also check references both listed by the candidates and others not on the list.

Final interviews will be held on Tuesday, January 22 and Wednesday, January 23, 2013. Community members will have an opportunity to attend an Open House to meet the candidates on January 22, 2013 from 7:00 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. in the Harrison Room. Both candidates will spend the day in the district, touring schools and meeting with parent, community and staff members. Wednesday evening the finalists will be interviewed by the Board of Education and the community.  The Board of Education will select a candidate and vote on entering into contract negotiations with an individual on Thursday, January 24, 2013.

Thank you for reading Rochester SAGE.  Together we will make a difference for gifted children!

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