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Schools seek leader with these traits

Schools seek leader with these traits


By Scott Sullivan


Want to be the next superintendent of Saugatuck Public Schools? Here’s the school board’s candidate profile, released Jan. 3, of who members are looking for to replace nine-year district superintendent Rolfe Timmerman, who announced Oct. 15 he would retire effective Jan. 26:

  • An educational and operational visionary who can co-create, develop then lead a compelling, proactive, excellent shared vision for the future of our school district.
  • Someone with a mastery of all communication skills who will connect effectively, proactively, frequently and transparently with both the school and community in a vivid, charismatic and effective way.
  • Someone with a great work ethic, who is visible, respected and demonstrates a servant leader methodology.
  • A leader with a constant focus and commitment to excellence and continuous improvement.
  • Someone who will develop the systems and guidelines that support board policies to ensure accountability for everyone in the organization.
  • Someone who is approachable and transparent, who demonstrates the highest standards of honesty, integrity and fairness.
  • Someone who clearly demonstrates their commitment to the community, understands the diverse needs of our families, and values the importance of positive relationships with local business, government entities and community members.
  • A confident problem solver and decision maker who will balance all sides of an issue and develop action plans to support district success.
  • Someone who will successfully plan and execute strategies to improve the SPS brand throughout West Michigan.
  • A proactive educational leader who anticipates problems, and understands the demands and constraints they will face.
  • A master of collaboration and delegation who will provide opportunities for, and value, shared leadership throughout the organization and work transparently with the board of education.
  • Someone with a growth mindset who will strategically develop and skillfully execute plans for improvement.
  • A charismatic and inspirational leader who is open to all points of view.
  • Someone with the capacity to manage the day-to-day operations and implement the policies of the district with fidelity.
  • A responsible, honest and creative fiscal manager with a working knowledge of school finance.
  • Someone who will skillfully attract and retain quality students and staff.
  • Someone who will create and maintain a positive atmosphere and culture.

The profile was developed using feedback from more than 80 participants in focus group meetings, a community forum Dec. 3 and 88 responses to an online survey posted on the district website.

Search consultant Gary Rider regional president of the Michigan Leadership Institute, said the board plans to review internal candidates’ applications — Saugatuck Middle/ High School Principal Tim Travis’ among them — at its Monday, Jan. 15, meeting and conduct first-round interviews Wednesday, Jan. 17, at 7 p.m. in the high school media center, 401 Elizabeth St., Saugatuck.

Possible second-round interviews are tentatively scheduled for Wednesday, Jan. 24, at 7 p.m. in the same site.

“Everyone in attendance will have the opportunity to submit written questions and provide feedback on candidates the board will interview in January,” said school board president Jeff Myers. “We want this to be a very collaborative process.

“The board encourages all members of the community, students, and staff to attend and participate in this important process,” Myers said.a