Six Ann Arbor superintendent candidates announced, including Roberto Clemente principal
The names of six semifinalists in the search for Ann Arbor Public Schools' next superintendent have been released, and among the top contenders is one familiar name.
Ben Edmondson, principal of the Roberto Clemente Student Development Center, one of the district's alternative high school programs, was identified among the frontrunners.
Two of the other semifinalists are from Michigan as well, and two are from the East Coast.
The other five candidates are:
- Richard Faidley — current superintendent of Derry Township School District in Hershey, Pa.
- Sandra Harris — retired superintendent of Oak Park School District in Oak Park, Mich., and former AAPS and Lincoln schools employee
- Henry Hastings — current full-time instructor at Eastern Michigan University
- Brian Osborne — current superintendent for the South Orange-Maplewood School District in New Jersey
- Jeanice Kerr Swift — current assistant superintendent of instruction, curriculum and student services for the Colorado Springs School District in Colorado Springs
Edmondson's name emerged in the community as being a great choice for the district's next leader months ago. A group of local residents started a Change.org petition in support of the board considering him as a candidate back in late April, before the job posting for the superintendent position was advertised by Ray & Associates, the consulting firm hired to assist in the search.
The Ann Arbor Public Schools received 61 applications for the open superintendent position. The Board of Education deliberated in closed executive session for nearly seven hours Wednesday to narrow down its applicant pool to seven candidates. Board President Deb Mexicotte said Friday that one of the applicants the board had selected to move on in the search withdrew his application.
Current Ann Arbor leader Patricia Green is retiring effective July 9 after just two years with the district. She was hired in July 2011 on a five-year contract.
The Board of Education also announced new meetings related to the superintendent selection process.
A board study session was scheduled for 5:30 p.m. on July 2 in the Balas Administration Building main conference room. The purpose of this meeting will be to discuss interview questions as well as the plan for the week of July 7, during which the six superintendent candidates will visit the district, receive a tour and meet with key school officials and community and building leaders. Interviews of the candidates will be open to the public.
The semifinalist interviews will be conducted at the Courtyard Marriott, at 3205 Boardwalk in Ann Arbor, on Monday, July 8 and Tuesday, July 9. They tentatively have been planned for Monday from 10 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. and Tuesday from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m.
The board may hold a regular meeting at a to-be-decided time following the Tuesday interviews to select the finalists. Otherwise, the regular meeting will be planned for the next day, according to a news release announcing the candidates.
Interviews with the finalists are planned for Monday, July 15 and Tuesday, July 16. Locations and times will be announced.
Mexicotte said in the release that the school board is very pleased with the list of semifinalists and welcomes the community to attend the interviews.
A regular Board of Education meeting will take place at 7 p.m. July 17 at the Courtyard Marriott for the purpose of selecting the next superintendent of the district.
It is the Board of Education's goal to have a new superintendent in place before the start of the 2013-14 academic year. A start date will be formally determined during contract negotiations and be dependent upon the candidate's availability.