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Kent ISD Board suspends Superintendent search

Kent ISD Board suspends Superintendent search
Interim Superintendent 
Ron Koehler


GRAND RAPIDS, Mich.
– Citing the extraordinary challenge of searching for new leadership amid a worldwide pandemic that has brought huge stress on educators at all levels, the Kent ISD School Board today suspended its search for a new superintendent and asked Interim Superintendent Ron Koehler to remain until conditions return to “some sense of normalcy.”

Board President Andrea Haidle said the board learned during Koehler’s interim service how heavily the pandemic, work-at-home orders and other unusual circumstances had weighed on Kent ISD staff of more than 1,000 members and decided now was not the time for a change.  

Before taking the interim position in January 2021, Koehler committed to remain as superintendent until the board found permanent leadership.

“This pandemic has stressed us all, but few have been impacted as much as educators and educational leadership,” Haidle said. “We received just 13 applications for what is widely viewed as one of the premier education leadership positions in the state. One of our primary goals was a diverse pool of candidates, yet those we received were not diverse.” While we thank the search consultants for their work in this process, we have to believe the unusual times in which we are operating had an impact on the number of candidates who applied. 

“Our staff deserve a well-known and welcome leader during this time as we work toward a sense of normalcy,” said Haidle.  Koehler worked at Kent ISD for 23 years, more than half of that time as an assistant superintendent, before retiring in 2019.

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