Thornapple Kellogg position to be announced Saturday morning

Published 1:53 am Thursday, December 14, 2006

By By ANDY HAMILTON / Niles Daily Star
NILES – The new superintendent of Thornapple Kellogg Schools is expected to be announced Saturday.
The two final candidates for the position are Brandywine Community Schools Superintendent Gary Rider and assistant superintendent at Coopersville Area Public Schools, Dave Sipka. Both candidates were interviewed Wednesday at Thornapple Kellogg.
" The [Thornapple Kellogg Schools] Board [of education] decided they had lots of input, lots of written comments, many, many references and needed time to digest everything," said George Young, a Michigan Association of School Boards field service consultant to Thornapple Kellogg.
The announcement is expected to come Saturday at 9 a.m. at a special public meeting at the district's middle school, where the regular sessions of the Thornapple Kellogg board of education are held, Young said. The goal of the meeting, Young added, is to name the next superintendent of Thornapple Kellogg Schools.
Young said two motions will most likely be made at the meeting – one will be made to offer the district's top job to either Rider or Sipka upon successful completion of a contract negotiation, and the second will name an interim superintendent until the newly hired candidate can begin.
The candidates had separate interview sessions Wednesday with union and central office officials and administrators and then "flip-flopped," Young said. The board has also done extensive background checks and research on both Rider and Sipka, he added.
"This board has worked hard. They've checked dozens of references and conducted two individual interviews with these people," Young said.
The new head of Thornapple Kellogg Schools in the village of Middleville southeast of Grand Rapids will oversee 3,000 students in six buildings. The board of education has not announced a salary for the superintendent position, but in a notice about the opening stated it will provide a "competitive compensation package" based on the candidate's education and experience.