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School to host candidate interviews Friday, discuss term lengths on Monday

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 at 6:45 p.m.




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