Niles picks Weigel for superintendentPublished 11:01am Wednesday, February 24, 2010
By AARON MUELLER
Niles Daily Star
The Niles Board of Education has found its man.
After a month of reviewing resumes, doing background checks and conducting interviews, the board unanimously agreed to move into contract negotiations with Richard Weigel, the assistant superintendent at Ypsilanti Public Schools, during a Tuesday evening meeting.
Board vice president Michael Dreher, treasurer Michael Waldron, trustee Greg O’Toole, teacher association president Andy Roberts and Oak Manor principal Robin Hadrick made a site visit to Ypsilanti public schools Tuesday.
After the visit, they were all in agreement that Niles had found its new superintendent.
“I’m sad to report I looked high and low, talked to teachers, para-pros, secretaries, and could not find one ounce of dirt on Mr. Weigel,” Roberts said. “The board would be very foolish not to offer Mr. Weigel a contract. He’s transparent, communicative and collaborative.”
Hadrick was impressed with what she heard from people in the central office of Weigel’s district.
“He’s a real go-getter and not afraid to cut programs that aren’t effective,” she said. “I see his vision fitting with our district’s vision very nicely. I see him continuing what we’re doing and polishing up a few things.”
O’Toole was impressed with Weigel’s focus on data, noting that his desk was filled with papers of statistics.
“Saying the school is data-driven would be an understatement,” he said. “There is data all over the walls. Students are graphing the data of their own progress.”
There were some concerns about Ypsilanti High School, which is in its sixth year of not meeting state standards, is on its third principal in five years and has only a 70 percent graduation rate.
But Waldron said through the visit, he concluded Weigel didn’t have much to do with the high school.
Waldron also said he had a good meeting with the Ypsilanti superintendent.
“He really emphasized Richard is outstanding in PR and marketing,” Waldron said. “Every place he’s been he’s passed a bond.”
The only concerns the representatives from the site visit had were that they repeatedly heard Weigel is a “workaholic.”
“After the visit, I’m convinced he really does put in 60-70 hours a week,” Waldron said.
Current Niles superintendent Doug Law, who is retiring at the end of the school year, was impressed with the entire hiring process.
“I could not be happier for you,” Law told the board. “The process was extremely smooth and open. This is great for the community and great for the schools.”
The selection of Weigel comes a week ahead of its goal of March 1, so the board hopes he will be able to begin earlier than the proposed start date of July 1 for a smooth transition.