Archived Story

School board considers hiring firm to find superintendent

Published 9:15am Wednesday, March 12, 2014

As the search for a candidate to replace former Supt. Richard Weigel, who resigned last month, moves forward, the Niles Community Schools Board of Education is in the process of hiring a firm to help conduct the search.

Michigan Leadership Institute — the same firm that conducted the search which produced Weigel four years ago — gave its business pitch to the board during Monday’s regular meeting.

Gary Rider, MLI representative, said two-thirds of his company’s work involves superintendent searches. Rider said he thinks Niles could have a new superintendent named by June 1.

Rider, a former Brandywine superintendent, said now is the “busy season” for superintendent searches and that there should be a large and deep list of available candidates.

He cautioned the board not to drag out the process past July as most superintendents would want plenty of time to get acclimated to a new district.

He also said it would be “crucial” for the board to develop a profile of the type of superintendent they are looking for. Involving school staff and the community would be very beneficial for developing that profile, he said.

Contracting MLI would cost the district $6,700 plus expenses.

The board made no formal decision on hiring MLI.

The school board accepted Weigel’s resignation March 5, although a separation agreement states the resignation became effective Feb. 24.

Weigel, whose contract was set to expire in 2016, will receive his normal wages while serving as a consultant through June 30. The district will pay him a severance of $115,000 this June.

In a resignation letter, Weigel wrote that his vision for the district’s future differed fundamentally from the vision held by some members of the administration and some members of the board. Those differences, he wrote, would interfere with his ability to lead the district.

The board has contracted with Berrien Regional Education Service Agency Supt. Kevin Ivers to act as interim superintendent until a permanent replacement is found.

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