Public Questions For Kalamazoo Superintendent Finalists

Jan 31, 2020

The Kalamazoo Board of Education at its meeting on January 30, 2020
Credit John McNeill / WMUK

Kalamazoo School trustees say they hope for another packed house when they interview the finalists for the job of superintendent next week. About 60 people appeared on Tuesday, January 28, when trustees cut the list of candidates to four.

During its meeting on Thursday, January 30, KPS Board President Patti Scholler-Barber said, "The same questions will be asked to every candidate. There's a lot of equity and fairness to this."

The finalists are all school administrators from much larger districts in Saint Paul, Minnesota; Chicago, Illinois; Saint Louis, Missouri; and Greensboro, North Carolina.

Kalamazoo School Board trustees will interview each of the finalists for about 90 minutes on Wednesday, February 5, beginning at 6:15 p.m. The interviews will be at the district's administration building on Howard Street. Sholler-Barber says ten minutes will be reserved for questions from the audience.

"Cards will be passed out. You'll write down your questions. MASB will collect them and vet, and then they'll be given to me."

MASB is the Michigan Association of School Boards. It's helping the Kalamazoo Public Schools find someone to replace former superintendent Michael Rice, who's now Michigan's superintendent of public instruction.

Board members say they will decide their next steps in the search process after the interviews with the finalists.

Woodward Elementary recognized

Kalamazoo’s School Board often starts its meetings with a ceremony that gives certificates to students who've improved their grades. On Thursday, it honored an entire school. Not too long ago, Woodward Elementary was in the bottom five percent statewide in student test scores. But Principal Frank Rocco says it was nominated by the state this year as one of the most improved schools in the country.

"A few years back, we were put on a priority school list and we were threatened with closure. Everyone in here fought like crazy to make that not happen. And over the last few years we've made a lot of changes and worked really hard."

Woodward is a Magnet school that focuses on science, technology, and research.

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