Mendon names interim superintendent

With a heavy heart, Mendon Community Schools Board of Education made an emotional but necessary decision Monday to appoint an interim superintendent.

During a board work session – the board’s first assembly since the Dec. 26 passing of former superintendent Roger Rathburn – Leasa Griffith was tapped to serve the role until a permanent chief is sought later in the year.

Board president Regina Schinker said she and district officials are still coming to terms with Rathburn’s untimely death, the result of a tree-trimming accident at Sauganash Golf Course. But, as the board was reminded Monday by St. Joseph County Intermediate School District Superintendent Teresa Belote, the district can’t leave the post unfilled.

Schinker said Griffith had been designated a ‘select administrator’ who had been working closely with Rathburn during his 2 1/2 years with the 550-student district.

Details of Griffith’s contract will be ironed out and approved during the board’s Jan. 22 meeting. Griffith also serves as a teacher and coach in the district.

Schinker, a five-year board member who was reappointed Monday as board president, said the district is fortunate to have someone internally willing and able to step up to fill a key role under such unfortunate circumstances.

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