GRPS to continue search for superintendent

Grand Rapids

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — The Grand Rapids Public School board will continue its search for the district’s next superintendent.

In a special meeting Saturday, the board did not select either of the two finalists for the position, instead voting to explore more options.

The GRPS board had whittled it down two candidates: Dr. Adrian Talley, director of community schools for Prince George’s County Public Schools in Washington D.C., and Dr. Devon Horton, chief of schools in Jefferson County, Kentucky.

On Saturday, several board members expressed interest in hiring Horton. But the board as a whole ultimately voted 6-3 to continue the search and explore more options.

Some board members argued neither candidate properly addressed key issues within the district, like special education and the needs of a growing Spanish-speaking population.

During the meeting, there was frustration from board members on both sides of the decision.

“There are other candidates out there,” board Secretary John Matias said. “And we needed to see that. I feel like the agency we chose (to help in the hiring process) should’ve brought others to (us).”

“I personally don’t think we need to put it on pause,” board Treasurer Raynard Ross said. “I think, frankly, we have to make a decision at some point. And I reiterate I don’t think we’ll ever be at a point 100 confident in that decision.”

The GRPS board will now look to appoint an interim superintendent while they continue to search for a long-term replacement. 

Current Superintendent Teresa Weatherall Neal is retiring in June. 

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