Archived Story

Candidate interviews begin tonight

Published 11:25am Monday, February 8, 2010

By JESSICA SIEFF
Niles Daily Star

Interviews start tonight in the search for a new superintendent for Niles Community Schools, a round of interviews that will narrow the choices for the district’s board of education down to two or three finalists out of six contenders.

The Star will cover the interviews of the candidates and has been taking a closer look at who they are and the districts they come from and finishes up today with a look at the final two candidates vying for the job.

Joseph Murphy is superintendent of Kingston Community Schools in Kingston Mich., north east of Flint and east of Saginaw. According the district’s 2008-2009 annual report the Kingston school district consists of only two schools, Kingston Elementary School which includes grades K-6 and Kingston High School grades 7-12. As of the 2008-2009 school year, the report said the district, which covers 80 square miles, serves an estimated 660 students.

In his resume, Murphy states he has managed a district budget of an estimated $5 million and said he has “negotiated and settled three union contracts as the sole negotiator representing the school district.”

Though he became superintendent in 2007, Murphy has been with the district since 2000 when he took a job as principal of Kingston High School.

Also according to Murphy’s resume, the Central Michigan University graduate with a bachelors degree in Education went on to receive his masters degree and an education specialist degree from Saginaw Valley State University in University Center Mich.
It also says he is a member of the Tuscola County Superintendents Association, the Michigan Association of School Administrators and the Michigan Negotiators Association.

William Eis, a Western Michigan University graduate up for consideration by the board, is the current superintendent for Potterville Public Schools, a district located just southwest of Lansing.

In an address to parents, students and the community through the school system’s publication the “Viking Voyager,” Eis recognized the impact of the state’s financial situation on his school district. His words came with a sense of resilient optimism.
“A wise person once said it’s not what happens to you that’s important, but what you do about it,” Eis wrote. “During this past fall, we have read weekly and daily about the increasingly bad news regarding state funding of public schools. Our reaction so far has been to focus on our number one mission as a school: student learning.”

That optimism came in December, as the district was dealing with financial pressures that led to staff reductions.

According to the Lansing State Journal, the school system, which consists of an elementary, middle and high school as well as alternative and adult education programs, saw a reduction in staff in the wake of cuts.

“In Potterville, the school district has asked their employees to make sacrifices, including pay reductions through furlough days and paying a larger share of their benefit costs,” Lansing State Journal reporter Alan Miller wrote in his Jan. 22 article. “Potterville Superintendent William Eis described the reaction of some staff to learning about their reduced paychecks. ‘They had tears in their eyes,’ he said.”

In his resume, Eis said he cut $1 million from an $8.5 million budget “over four years while protecting the classroom.”

Before becoming superintendent for Potterville in 2006, according to Eis’ resume he was an elementary school teacher for both Wayland Union Schools and Otsego Public Schools.

The board will interview candidates this week beginning with Roger Prosise, superintendent for the Diamond Lake School District 76 in Mundelein Ill., tonight at 6 p.m.

Prosise will be followed by Richard Weigel, the assistant superintendent for Ypsilanti Public Schools. Weigel’s interview is scheduled to begin at 7:45 p.m.

“Kingston Community Schools received 14.41 percent funding from local revenue, 70.13 percent from State revenue,,3.82 percent from Federal revenue and other sources 11.64 percent. Kingston Community Schools has three (3) debt retirement mileages for 6.05 mills. Total operational budget for 2008-2009 school year was $5,030,362.”
Source:  Kingston Community Schools Annual Report 2008-2009

Interviews for a new superintendent for Niles Community Schools will continue this week. Interviews are open to the public and will be held at the Westside Administrative Center, 111 Spruce St.. The schedule for this week is as follows:

• Mark Daniel, principal, Leo Junior Senior High School, Leo, Ind.
Daniel’s interview is scheduled for Tuesday at 6 p.m.

• Christina Templin, superintendent, DeWitt Public Schools, DeWitt, Mich.
Templin’s interview will be held Tuesday at 7:45 p.m.

• William Eis, superintendent, Potterville Public Schools, Potterville, Mich.
Eis is to be interviewed Wednesday at 6 p.m.

• Joseph Murphy, superintendent, Kingston Community Schools, Kingston, Mich.
Murphy is scheduled to be interviewed Wednesday at 7:45 p.m.

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