Brandywine board hires MLI to find new superintendent

Published 12:37 pm Tuesday, February 13, 2007

By By ANDY HAMILTON / Niles Daily Star
NILES – Michigan Leadership Institute was selected Monday night by the Brandywine Community Schools Board of Education to find a new superintendent.
MLI was chosen instead of Michigan Association of School Boards (MASB). Board president Phil Bozung said he felt both search firms were capable of producing valuable candidates, but added MLI was more responsive and required less negotiating for price.
"I think either one will work," Bozung said during discussions before the board unanimously voted in favor of MLI. " I think we'll pretty much get the same candidates."
MLI originally offered to perform the search for $6,000 plus expenses. MASB presented a fee of $6,500 plus expenses and later agreed to match any price offered by MLI, Bozung said.
MLI then offered to do the work for $4,000 to $4,5000, and Bozung said MASB would have probably matched after negotiations. But, he said Dale P. Schreuder, MLI's regional president of southwest Michigan, responded quicker to phone calls than the MASB team of Dr. Carl C. Hartman, Larry Spencer and Randy Remenap, who took two days to call the board president back with information.
"[MLI was] calling me before I was calling them," Bozung said.
Bozung also said Schreuder and MLI were willing to save Brandywine some money by not sending a representative to conduct the first round of superintendent interviews, and also by holding staff and public forums on the same day. Limiting the amount of trips Schreuder has to make will keep the price of the package and expense costs down, Bozung said.
Also at Monday's meeting, Sue Furney, Brandywine director of finance and operations, reported to the board that state legislators have until March 31 to present a revised budget to counter Michigan's more than $800 million general fund shortfall and $377 million deficit in the school aid fund. If the budget is passed as it appears now it could cost Brandywine $330,000, Furney said.
Superintendent Gary Rider announced the rescheduled bond kickoff meeting for Monday, Feb. 19, at 7 p.m. in the middle/high school media center.
Middle/high school principal Greg Jones said he is meeting with all classes in the school to explain the proposal to switch from a block schedule to a trimester format. He also encouraged parents to contact him for explanation of restructuring.
"I have not heard from that many parents outside of my meetings," Jones said.
Other items at the meeting included:
Recognizing the district's principals – Karen Weimer, Greg Jones and Tim Bagby – for Principals' Week;
Accepting a donation of $600 to the Brandywine Improvement Foundation from Alan Price of McCormick and Co.;
Announcing Wednesday as student count day, unless a snow day occurs, in which Tuesday will be considered an official count day.