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Kent ISD appoints interim superintendent

Announces national search for permanent superintendent; approves COVID-19 preparedness plan 

– The Kent ISD School Board will conduct a national search to replace outgoing Superintendent Ron Caniff. The Board named former Kent ISD Assistant Superintendent Ron Koehler as interim superintendent to lead Kent ISD following the effective date of Caniff’s retirement at the end of the calendar year. 

“We are very appreciative Ron Koehler agreed to come out of retirement to serve as interim superintendent,” said Kent ISD School Board President Andrea Haidle. “He has many years of experience at Kent ISD and with member school districts.  His experience will provide continuity in leadership and service while we search for a new superintendent.”  

“The privilege of serving as superintendent of Kent ISD has been a true honor and the highlight of my career,” said Caniff, who announced his retirement in July after more than 36 years in education. “The timing of my departure … will allow us to get through what will assuredly be a challenging start-up to the school year behind us and, hopefully, by the time I leave a sense of normal operations returns.” 

The Kent ISD School Board intends to conduct a national search to identify both local candidates and those beyond local and state borders. The first step will be to identify viable national and statewide search firms with the goal of selecting a firm this fall. The Board will prioritize choosing a new superintendent as one of its top goals for this year. If the process isn’t completed by July 1, 2021, they will ask the interim superintendent to continue. All details of the process will be conducted within the Open Meetings Act.

The Board also approved the COVID-19 Preparedness and Response plans for the Kent ISD’s major student programs. These include Kent Career Tech Center, Kent Transition Center, Kent Innovation High School, MySchool@Kent, Launch U, Special Education Center-Based programs, Adult Education and Great Start Readiness Program. The plan presented meets all the state mandated requirements and safety protocols for the various phases in Michigan’s 2020-2021 return to school roadmap. Kent ISD is doing everything possible to provide PPE and keep students and staff safe in the current environment and will continue to follow guidance of the Kent County Health Department. Kent ISD also thanks Spectrum Health for a significant donation of PPE equipment for Kent ISD and local districts.

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