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Posted on Wed, Mar 27, 2013 : 1:48 p.m.

Dexter school board to delay interviews for new superintendent

By Danielle Arndt

Dexter Community Schools' Board of Education was expected to begin interviewing its first round of superintendent candidates this week. But a report in the Dexter Leader says the school board wants more time to vet the individuals and consider its candidate pool.


Dexter Board of Education President Larry Cobler file photo

The district is the process of hiring a new superintendent to replace Mary Marshall, who left Dexter in December to take a superintendent's job with Pentwater Public Schools on the west side of the state, along Lake Michigan.

Dennis Desmarais, a longtime educator from the Riverview Community School District, was appointed the interim superintendent of the Dexter schools following Marshall's mid-year departure.

The Dexter Board of Education hired the Michigan Leadership Institute last fall to assist with its superintendent search. According to the Leader, the MLI presented 35 candidates to the board, and now the board would like to push back the initial interview dates to "look deeper" into the backgrounds of the candidates.

School board President Larry Cobler told the Leader some of the candidates were not the right fit or had not been working for a while. Only about "10 or so" were sitting superintendents, which is what the school board wants, Cobler said in the newspaper.

Danielle Arndt covers K-12 education for Follow her on Twitter @DanielleArndt or email her at


Mackinac Straits

Thu, Mar 28, 2013 : 11:01 a.m.

How terrible. The important information in this course of events, and other significant hiring needs over the past several years, is that Dexter is not an attractive job destination. Why? Perhaps the "leadership" of the Board and the District's crumbling finances has something to do with it?

Shawn Letwin

Thu, Mar 28, 2013 : 9:39 a.m.

Wow! Last week the Board confidently released a schedule and press release saying that they are ready to go and now this. What happened in less than seven days? Incredible that they can't even get to the first round and they are already making statements that...""We decided we needed to do some more background checking and so we did not select anyone to come out of the pool of candidates," said Larry Cobler. Isn't that the job of MLI to properly vet candidates before you get the list? What are we paying them to do (and to do it for the 3rd time too). Sure thought you could present "some/a few" candidates. Class ends in just over 8 weeks and this!! I thought that the purpose of the last 3 months was to present a subset from the pool of candidates and then whittle it down? But Cobler said "...we did not select anyone to come out of the pool of candidates..." They announced the opening in October! If I were a candidate for this job and was reading the tea leaves and hearing what was being said, I sure would not feel very comfortable about Dexter. That reminds me of the AD fiasco (actually fiasco's since it happened more than!) 3rd superintendent search that Cobler has led, the third search that we have hired MLI (and at what cost) and we are not where they said they were just less than a week ago. In mid-October, Marshall was known to be seeking another position outside of Dexter. Now 5 months later the board has no candidates to present for consideration? Also from the June 2012 approved budget and up through the November 2012 approved budget, the expenses over revenue increased by $800,000. In just 5 months, the expenses over revenue increased well over 1/2 a million dollars(the revenue did not decline, nobody got any raises, no new teachers, etc.). How, why? We even had board vote late last year to get almost an additional $200K in new revenue by opening up the duplicate IB program for up to 5 kids. What is going on here?