Brandywine hires interim superintendent
Published 3:54 pm Tuesday, September 16, 2003
By By BEN RAYMOND LODE / Niles Daily Star
NILES -- Brandywine Public Schools school board announced Gary Campbell as the school district's interim superintendent at Monday's regular school board meeting.
Campbell, 58, retired in June this year after 12 years as Lakeshore Public Schools superintendent.
He was a Lakeshore employee for 23 years.
Campbell's contract begins Oct. 1 and goes through June 30, 2004, unless the school district hires a superintendent before that.
He briefly introduced himself at the board meeting.
Campbell said he is looking forward to being interim superintendent and told the board he hopes to help the school district find new leadership.
A Baroda resident, Campbell helped the Lakeshore school district pass a $26.4 million bond issue for building projects that were completed in 2000.
He will be paid $19,000 through 2003 for his role as interim superintendent, but didn't say what his compensation will be if his work is still needed in 2004.
Campbell, in addition to his experience as superintendent, has experience as a chief school business official.
Merritt Elementary principal Karen Weimer, who took over the superintendent role on Aug. 11, after former superintendent, Eugene Sweeney, resigned, will step down as acting superintendent when Campbell takes over.
Eugene Sweeney resigned after allegations of misconduct.
Greg Harrison, school board vice-president, said Campbell was chosen because of his experience as superintendent of what he calls a "well-run school district."
His experience dealing with bond issues is also timely, said Harrison.
The Brandywine community passed a $14.2 million bond issue in June to improve school district facilities and work is scheduled to start next year.
But the school board will have to find a new Finance Director, as Richard DeVos has handed in his resignation, effective Sept. 30.
The board accepted his resignation with regret at Monday's meeting.
DeVos will start full-time as business manager for Cassopolis Public Schools on Oct. 1.
The school district hopes to fill his position by the end of the month.
His position will be posted today.
Brandywine Public Schools is currently undergoing their state mandated annual audit.
At Monday's school board meeting, Philip Bozung, trustee, informed the public that finance director DeVos has looked at the school district's credit cards and expense accounts.
Bozung, who is one of the five board members subject to an ongoing recall effort by one or more Brandywine residents, said Devos found nothing but legitimate business expenses.
Other board members subject to the recall are Jim Curran, school board president, Cynthia Benson, trustee, Michael Shelton, trustee and Greg Harrison, vice-president.
The board members are having difficulties facing up to the allegations of misconduct as little specific information is brought to their attention by the group behind the recall effort.
But it wasn't just the recall effort and the new interim superintendent that was on people's minds at Monday's meeting.
Some people stood up and told the board they are concerned with the school district's transportation system.
Some parents have experienced their children haven't been picked up, while others have been left behind at the schools.
A few parents, however, told the board they are satisfied with the bus system and encouraged the parents who have had bad experiences, to give the system some time.
Curran told the public the school board will look into the issue.
In other school board reports: