Kzoo superintendent search starts with public meetings

Kalamazoo and Battle Creek

KALAMAZOO, Mich. (WOOD) — Kalamazoo Public Schools has launched a long process to give community members a say on what they want in the next superintendent.

The first step is 11 community meetings for the school board to get input on criteria for the job. The first of those meetings was held Monday at Maple Street Magnet School.

“A board of education hiring a superintendent is not about seven individuals choosing who they would like,” said Donna Oser, the executive director of the Michigan Association of School Boards, which was hired by KPS to conduct the search. “It’s really about a single board making a hire. So the board needs to get a lot of input and a lot of perspective and have rich conversation at the beginning of the process to determine exactly what they’re looking for in their next superintendent.”

A total of 26 stakeholder meetings are planned. Times and locations were chosen to allow as many people as possible the chance to attend.

Future meetings are scheduled for:

  • Oct. 15 at 2 p.m. at Friendship Village; 1400 N. Drake Road           
  • Oct. 15 at 7 p.m. at Eastside Neighborhood Assoc; 1301 E. Main St.
  • Oct.17 at 10 a.m. at Kalamazoo Public Library; 315 S. Rose St.
  • Oct.17 at 5:30 p.m. at El Concilio; 930 Lake Street (translators available)   
  • Oct. 17 at 7 p.m. at Kalamazoo Central High School; 2432 N. Drake Road   
  • Oct. 21 at 7 p.m. at Loy Norrix High School; 606 E. Kilgore Road        
  • Oct. 22 at 12 p.m. at Kalamazoo Public Library; Oshtemo, 7265 W. Main St.
  • Oct. 22 at 7 p.m. at Galilee Baptist Church; 1216 N. Westnedge Ave.
  • Oct. 28 at 2 p.m. at YWCA; 353 E. Michigan Ave.
  • Oct. 28 at 5:30 p.m. at Northside Association for Community Development; 612 N. Park St.

The search team has also set up an online survey for residents to weigh in on what qualities the new superintendent should have. The survey is open through Nov. 8 and takes about 10 minutes.

The district is hoping to have the criteria for the job set in time to start taking applications by the beginning of November. The timeline on hiring has not yet been finalized, but a target has been set for the end of February.

The former superintendent, Dr. Michael Rice, became the Michigan superintendent of education in May. Deputy Superintendent Gary Start, a longtime employee with the district, is serving as the interim superintendent until a permanent replacement is hired.

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