Looking for a superintendent

The Three Rivers Community Schools Board of Education is looking toward the selection of a new superintendent to succeed Roger Rathburn who has announced his intention to retire from his current post in 2014. Since making his announcement, Rathburn has also surfaced as one of two finalists for the position of superintendent for the Portage Public Schools.

The selection issue came in for discussion Monday evening (June 17) when Board President Susan Schmidtendorff asked if a meeting had been scheduled with MASB – the Michigan Association of School Boards – which was contracted in April to assist the district in the selection process. Board Secretary Pete Bennett, chairman of the Human Resources Committee, said, ““No, we don’t because they were going to contact us for this fall to start the process of community involvement.  I can give them a call.  I was kind of waiting until we find out what’s happening with the white elephant in the room that nobody wants to talk about,” a reference to the potential for an early departure by Rathburn if he is the person chosen for the position in Portage.”

Schmidtendorff said, “I don’t know that we need to wait for that, or whether that plays a part in it.”  She suggested having “a core group” of board members and others meet with MASB this summer “where we all sit down and we get a feel for what their process is, what they’re going to expect from us, what we might expect of them, and how that will look on the calendar.”  Schmidtendorff asked Bennett to contact MASB and he said he would do so. Since then Bennett has reported that he has arranged for MASB Superintendent Search Consultant Richard Dunham to “start the process at 8:45 a.m. on July 15,” the date of the board’s next meeting. Bennett said, “We will likely develop a timeline for the process at that time, by which we will know for certain whether or not Roger Rathburn leaves us this July or next July.”

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