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Tag Archive | "Scott Smith"

Board selects finalist in Superintendent search

Scott Smith

Community forums and second interview set for June 18

The Cedar Springs Board of Education conducted first round interviews Friday evening, June 8, in their search for a new Superintendent, and narrowed their field down to one finalist. Scott Smith, Assistant Superintendent at Hudsonville, will return for a second-round interview.

The board gave high marks to all three candidates who interviewed, but seemed to like Smith’s leadership style, community focus, and experience with a larger district. 

The other two candidates who interviewed were Karl Heidrich, of Stockbridge Community Schools, and John VanLoon, of Ravenna Public Schools.

A second-round interview is scheduled to take place at 7:00 p.m., Monday, June 18. (Please note this date is a change from that listed in the tentative calendar previously released.) The interview will take place in the District Office Board Room, 204 E Muskegon St., Cedar Springs, Mich.  

“The public is strongly encouraged to attend,” said Search Consultant Gary Rider. “Feedback from the audience has already been very valuable to the Board in the selection process.” Rider is the consultant that was selected by the Cedar Springs Board to facilitate the search effort.

Prior to the second round interview in the evening, focus groups will be held during the day on June 18 so that the community, staff, business, and government officials can all meet with Smith and give feedback to the board. There will be two community forums: one at 10 a.m. and one at 4 p.m. Both will be held in the District Office board room. Smith will have dinner with the board at 5:30 p.m., followed by the interview at 7 p.m. in the board room.

Scott Smith has served as Assistant Superintendent for Human Resources for the Hudsonville Public Schools for seven years. Prior to this work he served as the Middle School Principal for Hamilton Community Schools for six years, and as a Middle School Science teacher for Holland Public Schools for three years. Smith holds a Specialist Degree in Educational Leadership from Grand Valley State University, and a Master’s degree in Educational Leadership and Bachelor’s degree in Mathematics and Earth Science both from Western Michigan University.

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School board bits


By Judy Reed

Board to conduct superintendent candidate interviews Friday

The Cedar Springs Board of Education will conduct the first round of superintendent candidate interviews this Friday, June 8, beginning at 5 p.m.

The board will first approve minutes from the special meeting on May 18, and then hold public comments.

The candidate to be interviewed first will be Karl Heidrich, Superintendent at Stockbridge Community Schools. 

Scott Smith, Asst. Superintendent at Hudsonville Public Schools, will interview at 6:30 p.m.

John B. VanLoon, Superintendent at Ravenna Public Schools, will interview at 8 p.m.

The meeting will be held in the 3rd floor boardroom at the Hilltop Administration building.

School board to consider changing length of office term

The Cedar Springs Board of Education will soon consider whether to shorten the length of time that a board member serves from six to four years. The board will begin the discussion at its regular meeting on Monday, June 11.

According to a news release sent this week from the office of interim Superintendent Mark Dobias, more people might apply to serve if the term was shorter. “The Board deeply appreciates the value of community service and recognizes that becoming a Board Member is one way residents choose to get involved. Diversity of thought, backgrounds and opinions can lead to healthy, productive discussion which is a cornerstone of effective Boards of Education. The Board further understands that a six-year commitment is difficult for many citizens to make and believes that this change could encourage more people to seek a Board seat.”

Board members had previously served four-year terms until the board changed its policy six years ago. In February of 2012, they voted to switch to six-year-terms after the state passed legislation mandating that school elections be held every two years during the general election in November. They made the switch at the time to avoid there being a 4-3 rotation: 4 members up for election, then the other three in two more years. Instead, it was hoped with a six-year-term, it would be more like a 2-2-3 rotation.

While discussion on this topic will begin at the June 11 Board of Education meeting, no decision will be made until the June 25 meeting. The Board is hopeful that community members will express their opinions in the meantime so that the Board can make a well-informed decision.

“We want to hear how the public feels about this matter. We see merit in making this change but would never do so without the opportunity for public discourse,” said Board President Heidi Reed.

The meeting will be held in the 3rd floor boardroom in the Hilltop Administration Building.


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Board selects candidates for first round interviews

John B. VanLoon, Superintendent at Ravenna Public Schools.

Karl Heidrich, Superintendent at Stockbridge Community Schools.

Scott Smith, Asst. Superintendent at Hudsonville Public Schools.

By Judy Reed

The Cedar Springs Board of Education met Friday evening, May 18, at 6 p.m., to review over 29 applications for the Superintendent position.

The board started in open session, but then went into closed session to review the applications. They were not allowed to deliberate in closed session; they were only allowed to ask questions of Gary Rider, of the Michigan Leadership Institute, who is leading the search. They then moved back into open session, where Rider led the board in narrowing down their choices. 

The board decided on three candidates to interview in a public meeting on June 8, in the Hilltop board room:

Karl Heidrich, Superintendent at Stockbridge Community Schools, will interview at 5 p.m.

Scott Smith, Asst. Superintendent at Hudsonville Public Schools, will interview at 6:30 p.m.

John B. VanLoon, Superintendent at Ravenna Public Schools, will interview at 8 p.m.

The board also discussed the importance of feedback from parents, students, staff, and the community during the process, and began to develop interview questions. “We hope parents, members of the community and staff will attend the interviews,” said Cedar Springs Board President Heidi Reed. “It will be very important for the Board to have their input during the process.”

Heidrich has been Superintendent at Stockbridge Community Schools, a school with just over 1,400 students located between Lansing and Ann Arbor, since May of 2014. Prior to that, he was high school principal at Stockbridge from 2000 to 2013; and assistant high school principal there from 1999 to 2000. From 1995 to 1999, he was a teacher and athletic director at Deerfield Public Schools. He received a Bachelor of Science degree in Biology from Hillsdale College in 1995; a Masters of Education in Educational Administration in 1997 from the University of Toledo; a Specialist of Arts in Educational Leadership from Siena Heights University in 2004; and is currently pursuing a doctoral degree in Educational Leadership at Eastern Michigan University.

VanLoon has been Superintendent at Ravenna Public Schools, a district with just under 1,100 students, since December of 2008. Before that, he was high school principal at White Hall District Schools from 1999-2008; and from 1996-1999, he was middle school principal at Comstock Park Public Schools. He has also been past president of the Muskegon Area Superintendent’s Association; is Michigan Association of School Administrators (MASA) Region III president; and a member of education and community organizations. He graduated from Hope College in 1987 with a Bachelors degree in mathematics; received his Masters in Educational Leadership from Grand Valley in 1996; and will receive a degree as an Education Specialist from GVSU in 2019.

Smith has been Assistant Superintendent of Human Resources at Hudsonville Public Schools, a district with about 6,600 students, since 2011. He also serves as the Director of the Community Education program, and the Directors of Aquatics, Early Childhood Education, Fine Arts Auditorium and Technology all report to him. He is also the Assessment Coordinator, and partners with the Asst. Supt. of Curriculum and Instruction. Prior to becoming Asst. Supt. at Hudsonville, he was a middle school principal at Hamilton Community Schools from 2001 to 2011, and an assistant Jr./Sr. high school principal there from 1995-2001. From 1992-1995, he was a middle school science teacher at West Middle School in the Holland Public Schools District. Smith received his Bachelors degree in Mathematics/Earth Science from Western Michigan University in 1988; a Masters in Educational Leadership from Western in 1995; and an Education Specialist degree in Educational Leadership from Grand Valley State University in 2010.

Smith also was one of the five candidates chosen for a first round interview for the Cedar Springs Superintendent job in 2014. 

The Post became aware that Smith was initially invited to apply for the current opening by Board president Heidi Reed, and spoke to both Reed and Smith about it, since consultant Gary Rider has been adamant that there is no outside contact between the board members and candidates.

According to both Reed and Smith, it happened within days of the board receiving the resignation of Laura VanDuyn, before they hired Rider to do the search. “I didn’t realize I was doing anything wrong,” said Reed. “I don’t know him (Smith).” 

Smith agreed. “I wouldn’t know Heidi Reed if I was standing next to her,” he said. 

Smith said he got a call on his phone on March 31 and didn’t recognize the number. It was Reed. He had just went through a difficult Superintendent search with Hudsonville, and found out that they had decided to hire Doug VanderJagt, from Rockford (who coincidentally, applied for the Superintendent position at Cedar Springs in 2009). Reed had heard that he didn’t get the job and encouraged him to apply at Cedar Springs. He said she had said she wasn’t sure if the board was going to hire a search consultant or do the search on their own, and they talked about the validity and transparency hiring a consultant would bring to the process. Once he heard that the board had hired Gary Rider of the Michigan Leadership Institute to lead the search, he went to him right away and explained what happened. 

“I had been working with Gary on another search, and I know there are specific protocols, and I know there is a need for transparency,” said Smith.

Rider contacted Reed about it and the rest of the board was also made aware of the issue.

Reed regrets the incident and said that people don’t need to fear she’s pushing through a candidate. “I’m just one vote. I don’t hold that much sway over the board,” she said. 

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February 13, 1969 – January 27, 2017

Our hearts are still hurting

but know you are not alone.

The good Lord now has you

in his home.

We will later be together 

as an entire family.

Until that time,

we continuously think of you &

all the great memories we love of you!

Love, Mom-Dad,

sisters, daughters, 

son, grandson, 


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Scott S. Smith


OBIT-ScottScott S. Smith of Cedar Springs, MI, age 47, passed away Friday, January 27, 2017. He was born to Stephen Smith and Jill Smith-Tisdel on February 13, 1969 in Grand Rapids, MI. Scott was born the eldest of 3 children in Sand Lake, Michigan. He was a graduate of Englishville High School in 1988. He loved hunting, fishing, and being outdoors. Scott is survived by both of his loving parents, Stephen Smith and Jill Smith-Tisdel; by Heather Kieft, the mother of his children; Jasmyn Smith and Cheyenne Smith; his fiance of 10 years Jennifer Bedell; siblings Nancy Lee Smith and Cindy Lee Smith; son Jeremiah Augustus Smith; grandson Jaxon; and step-mom Helen Smith. Scott was preceded in death by his grandparents, George & Ruth Smith, and Roger & Elenor Gunneson; step-dad David Tisdel. Those wishing to make a memorial contributions to the care and raising of his son, Jeremiah, can do so by calling or texting Nancy Smith at 231-250-5701. A memorial service was held on Monday, January 30, 2017, at 7 pm at Camp Lake Baptist Church 12150 N Division Ave, Sparta, MI 49345.

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