Gray has 2nd round with Brandywine

Published 9:46 am Tuesday, March 30, 2004

By By JAMES COLLINS / Niles Daily Star
NILES -- Brandywine superintendent candidate David Gray said he would plan to stay in Brandywine for at least five years, if selected for the job, at a final interview on Monday.
Gray, currently the superintendent of Eaton Rapids Public Schools, was chosen for a second interview from the six finalists interviewed last week.
His interview was the first of two final interviews for the position, with the other finalist, Kim Kramer, scheduled to be interviewed at 5:30 p.m. on Wednesday.
Before working in the Eaton Rapids school district, where he has been for the past four years, Gray spent moe than 30 years working in the Eau Claire school district as a teacher and administrator, including seven years as the superintendent.
Prior to the interview at 5:30 p.m., there was a public reception in the Brandywine Elementary School cafeteria to give staff and community members a chance to meet with the candidate.
After talking with staff, Gray said it was easy to see their passion for teaching and for the Brandywine district.
He compared being the superintendent of a school district to being a coach when he said "I would like to be part of the winning team here at Brandywine schools."
Gray began the interview with a PowerPoint presentation centering on how to create a shared vision for Brandywine schools.
He said a key component of success is making a vision and having the staff believe in that vision.
His presentation also pointed to the importance of having a learning community in which everyone shares ideas and works toward continued improvements.
Gray mapped out his plan on how to improve the overall organization by creating a shared mission, setting a vision for the future, having the values to reach that vision and finally setting the goals to get there.
He then took a final set of questions from the Brandywine Board of Education.
When asked how long he planned to stay in the district, Gray said he would commit to at least five years because it takes that long to start seeing the results from any changes that are made. He said if everything goes well, he would consider staying longer than five years.
Gray has a lot of experience in dealing with curriculum and thinks it is essential to have an aligned curriculum.
He said the curriculum alignment process involves looking at the state standards and benchmarks, finding when and where these standards are being taught and then developing assessments to make sure the students are learning what they are supposed to be learning.
While his strongest interest may be in curriculum, Gray said he is also comfortable handling the budget and all of the other responsibilities of a superintendent.
Gray said it is important to gain input from staff when considering budget cuts. When making decisions involving personnel, he said you have to involve the people that those decision will directly effect.
Gray said one of his main strengths is his "ability to get people to work together for a common purpose."
He said he is a good match for the Brandywine district because of "the knowledge that I can bring … as far as what works and what it takes to be a successful district."
The board will interview the final superintendent candidate, Kim Kramer, on Wednesday at 5:30 p.m. in the Brandywine Elementary School library. There will be a public reception before the interview in the school's cafeteria at 4:30 p.m.