Ann Arbor school board receives 63 superintendent applications - 18 more than previous search
AnnArbor.com file photo
That's 18 more applicants than the 2010 search, which resulted in the school board hiring current district leader Patricia Green.
During its most recent hunt for a new superintendent, the board received 45 applications and interviewed six front-runner candidates before identifying three finalists.
As Green prepares for her departure from the district July 9, the Board of Education will begin combing through the potential candidates and narrowing them down.
Green submitted her letter of resignation to the board on April 11. She plans to retire after 43 years in public education.
The Board of Education will meet in executive session at about 2 p.m. Wednesday to hear from consultants with Ray & Associates, the Iowa-based firm hired to conduct the district's superintendent search.
Ray & Associates was contracted at a minimum cost to the district because AAPS used the firm for its previous search and Green, the candidate the firm helped Ann Arbor officials identify, is leaving within two years of her hire date, evoking a "satisfaction guarantee" clause in the firm's former contract with the district.
The idea behind the closed session meeting is for Ray & Associates to bring forward 10 to 12 candidates — "maybe more, maybe a few less" — that consultants have properly vetted and measured against school board trustees' criteria in the superintendent profile they developed back in April, said board President Deb Mexicotte.
Mexicotte said the candidate pool is very robust and above and beyond what the district received last search. She did not have a breakdown of where the candidates were from, but said there are applicants from all over — including here in Ann Arbor, Michigan, the Midwest and continuing across the country.
"It is an excellent pool of candidates. And not just in that it's large and extensive, but it's excellent in quality," she said, adding that it's not that the previous search pool was bad. "But we didn't just get about 20 more marginal candidates. We got 20 more very strong, very high-quality candidates."
The board intends to select its semifinalists for superintendent during its executive session at 2 p.m. on Wednesday. Trustees also plan to release the names of the semifinalists during their regular meeting, which begins at 7 p.m. Wednesday on the fourth floor of the downtown Ann Arbor District Library. The executive session will be at the library as well.
The only reason the board would not release the names of the semifinalists Wednesday night would be because some of the candidates could not immediately confirm that they wanted to remain in the running or wanted their names made public, Mexicotte said. She explained that the board or Ray & Associates will contact the potential semifinalists Wednesday to confirm their candidate status.
"They may not have made their boards aware they were looking. No board president wants to find out in the newspaper ... that just isn't courteous. So we'd give them time," Mexicotte said, adding that is the only reason the names may not be released Wednesday. "But we're expecting to be able to contact everybody."