Ann Arbor school board prepares for final month of superintendent search
The Ann Arbor school board is preparing for what’s expected to be the final month of its search for a new superintendent, board president Deb Mexicotte said Wednesday.
Mexicotte said the deadline to apply for the position passed Tuesday, but search consultant firm Ray & Associates is still expecting several applications to arrive by the end of the week. She said the search firm was impressed that approximately 45 people applied for the position, which is more than expected.
“The pool (of candidates) is better than they have been experiencing for other districts due to the economic downturn and the difficulty in leaving behind a house,” she said. “A lot of candidates have not been mobile, but the pool is a little better than they had hoped for.”
Mexicotte also presented the search timeline for the next four weeks to board members at Wednesday’s meeting.
Ray & Associates will narrow down the pool of candidates to a small subset by Feb. 9, when the board will review those candidates in closed session and further whittle down the list. During the week of Feb. 14, the board will interview those candidates in meetings open to the public and possibly narrow down the list.
The following week, a delegation of trustees will make site visits to candidates’ districts — or other places of work, since the candidate does not necessarily have to be a school official —before bringing them back to Ann Arbor the following week for another round of interviews and a final decision.
Dates have not been finalized because interviews and site visits will depend on the availability of the candidates.
The position has been vacant since October, when former superintendent Todd Roberts departed for a job in North Carolina. Administrator Robert Allen has been serving as interim superintendent, but has said he is not a candidate for the permanent position.
The next district superintendent is expected to earn around $245,000 — a $65,000 boost from Roberts' salary. The school board took heat in November after deciding to increase the salary range.
Trustees urged community members to get involved in the process by submitting interview questions, either at the meetings or on the district’s website.
Mexicotte said the search firm reported a positive experience with the search thus far.
“They’ve expressed they’re pleased with the process so far from their end and thought we’d be pleased with candidates who came forward,” she said.
Kyle Feldscher covers K-12 education for AnnArbor.com. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.