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Tag Archive | "interim Superintendent"

School board reduces term length; four positions open

By Judy Reed

 If you’ve been thinking about running for a seat on the Cedar Springs Board of Education, you’ll have your chance in November. There will be four positions open—two full terms and two partial terms. None will be longer than four years, since the Board voted on Monday, June 25, to reduce the term served from six years to four years.

A previous board had voted several years ago to change term lengths from four years to six years after the state of Michigan passed a law regarding when elections could be held. They did it to avoid a 4-3 rotation every two years.

Interim Superintendent Mark Dobias had said he felt it might encourage more people to run if they reduced the amount of time to serve. He asked for input from the community on shortening the time frame from four to six years, and told the Post that he received 50-75 emails on it, and no one had voiced opposition. 

The seats up for grabs this fall include Matt McConnon’s seat, which will be a four-year term expiring in 2022; Brook Nichols’ seat, which will also be a four-year-term expiring in 2022; the seat occupied by Jeff Rivard, which expires in 2020; and the seat currently held by Traci Slager, which expires in 2022.

Anyone wishing to run for one of these four trustee positions may either file a petition no later then July 24, 2018, or pay a $100 filing fee by no later than July 24, 2018. You can pick up an election packet at the Kent County Clerk’s office at 300 Monroe Ave., in Grand Rapids, from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Call them for information at (616) 632-7640.

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Interim Superintendent impressed with Cedar Springs

Mark Dobias

Wants to be available for people to share their concerns

By Judy Reed

When Mark Dobias was asked to become interim Superintendent at Cedar Springs Public Schools at the end of March, he didn’t know much about the district. But after just one week on the job, he said he is very impressed with what he sees.

“When I look at the size of the campus, and the fact that all buildings are together; the administrative staff seems outstanding; I’ve met a lot of teachers and there seems to be great things going on in the buildings; I am very impressed,” he said.

Dobias grew up in Scottville, which is east of Ludington. He graduated from Central Michigan University with a Bachelors degree in Education and a Masters in Education Administration. He first became a special education teacher in homes for delinquent boys. Later he was a high school teacher in Manistee, then an elementary principal in Hart, and a Middle School principal back in his hometown of Scottville. He became Superintendent at Fennville in 2001, and was Superintendent at the Allegan Area Service Agency from 2008 to September of 2016, when he retired.

During his retirement, Dobias kept busy doing Superintendent searches, strategic planning, and human resources work as a part-time consultant for MASB (Michigan Association of School Boards). He came out of retirement to become interim Superintendent at Cedar Springs.

“It was a good time for me. I was able to clear my calendar, and I was ready to get back into it. When you work in schools as long as I have, it’s good to know you are appreciated, that people think you can still make a difference. I was flattered to be asked, and I am enjoying it,” he said.

He remarked that his reception here has been outstanding. “I’ve been made to feel very welcome. If people see me wandering up and down the streets of Cedar Springs looking confused at where I’m going, please stop and say hi,” he added with a chuckle.

Dobias explained that his mission at Cedar Springs is to provide stability as the district transitions to a new Superintendent. With that are three steps: one, to do what he can to end the year on a good note; two, to help do what he can to begin the year on a good note; and three, to provide an avenue for people (staff, students, and community) to share their concerns and frustrations.

“I want people to have that opportunity to talk, so I may set up some office hours in various buildings,” he said. “I want to make myself available.” He said that people are more than welcome to call his cell phone (269) 532-0543, which he has posted on the school website, or email him at Mark.Dobias@csredhawks.org.

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