Home Chalkboard NBAS School Board gears up for superintendent interviews this weekend at monthly...

NBAS School Board gears up for superintendent interviews this weekend at monthly meeting

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The official interview phase for a new, full-time superintendent of the New Buffalo Area School District will commence this Saturday, July 16, it was announced at the New Buffalo Area Schools Board of Education bimonthly meeting Monday, July 11.

The interviews will begin at 9 a.m. School Board President Pano Arvanitis said the public is welcome to attend, as the Board members interview seven to eight candidates for the position throughout the day Saturday. The new superintendent will be replacing Mark Westerburg, who served as superintendent of the district for seven years before leaving last month to accept a superintendent position at the Willits School District in Willits, California.

The interviews will begin at 9 a.m. School Board President Pano Arvanitis said the public is welcome to attend, as the Board members interview seven to eight candidates for the position throughout the day Saturday. The new superintendent will be replacing Mark Westerburg, who served as superintendent of the district for seven years before leaving last month to accept a superintendent position at the Willits School District in Willits, California.

At Monday’s meeting, Board members, with the help of Denny Patzer from the Michigan Association of School Boards, narrowed down their choices from a pool of 47 applicants. The Board hired MASB as the official search firm for helping them find superintendent candidates. Board members referred to the applicants by the numbers next to their names, as names of the official candidates won’t be revealed until later in the week.

Included in the pool of applicants were superintendents, assistant superintendents and principals. Patzer added that a few of them also had Ph.Ds. He added that the district had a “real solid pool,” which said a lot for New Buffalo Area Schools.

“It’s a real endorsement for the district,” said Patzer.

In addition to discussing candidates, Board members also discussed a list of possible questions to ask during the interviews. Board members agreed to ask only eight questions. As pointed out by Treasurer Lee Artz, the fewer questions asked the better, as they wanted candidates to have the chance to give “substantive answers.” Board members discussed asking questions pertaining to candidates’ views on the challenges in public education, student achievement and “engaging and affirming” school staff members, as well as their experience with “career and technical education programs.” Questions will be edited and finalized in time for Saturday’s interviews.

Also at the meeting, Board members accepted the resignation letter, with regret, from middle/high school physical education teacher Matthew Keim.

Guy Reece, who served as the former high school principal and is now the Acting Superintendent, said that they have already screened down candidates for Keim’s replacement and will be soon conducting interviews.

Board members approved a Public Improvement Funds’ project of district wireless upgrading in the amount of $142,936.71 from Qubit Networks.

Director of Technology Ed Lijewski explained that their district was in need of a technological upgrade, as the district’s wireless system was purchased in June 2005 and reached an end-of-life last month. When it was purchased, school staff had laptops and only 20 access points were needed in the hallways. The district now needs 90 access points; however, currently, it only has 50, which Lijewski said “creates many coverage holes.” The district’s one-to-one program was implemented in 2009 with the purchase of 250 laptops for high school, which Lijewski said “maxed” the controller’s 50 access points. The addition of new technology has also created a need for wireless upgrading, as more than 250 ChromeBooks have been added since 2014 and 50 iPads, as well as 140 employees having laptops or other wireless devices and 240 high school students having MacBooks.

Board members approved the purchase of 28 ChromeStation Desktops for students in kindergarten through second grade. The Desktops are $350 each and would altogether cost $9,800. Currently, the students have eight-year-old laptops which Lijewski said are “falling apart.” At Monday’s meeting, Board members, with the help of Denny Patzer from the Michigan Association of School Boards, narrowed down their choices from a pool of 47 applicants. The Board hired MASB as the official search firm for helping them find superintendent candidates. Board members referred to the applicants by the numbers next to their names, as names of the official candidates won’t be revealed until later in the week.

Included in the pool of applicants were superintendents, assistant superintendents and principals. Patzer added that a few of them also had Ph.Ds. He added that the district had a “real solid pool,” which said a lot for New Buffalo Area Schools.

“It’s a real endorsement for the district,” said Patzer.

In addition to discussing candidates, Board members also discussed a list of possible questions to ask during the interviews. Board members agreed to ask only eight questions. As pointed out by Treasurer Lee Artz, the fewer questions asked the better, as they wanted candidates to have the chance to give “substantive answers.” Board members discussed asking questions pertaining to candidates’ views on the challenges in public education, student achievement and “engaging and affirming” school staff members, as well as their experience with “career and technical education programs.” Questions will be edited and finalized in time for Saturday’s interviews.

Also at the meeting, Board members accepted the resignation letter, with regret, from middle/high school physical education teacher Matthew Keim.

Guy Reece, who served as the former high school principal and is now the Acting Superintendent, said that they have already screened down candidates for Keim’s replacement and will be soon conducting interviews.

Board members approved a Public Improvement Funds’ project of district wireless upgrading in the amount of $142,936.71 from Qubit Networks.

Director of Technology Ed Lijewski explained that their district was in need of a technological upgrade, as the district’s wireless system was purchased in June 2005 and reached an end-of-life last month. When it was purchased, school staff had laptops and only 20 access points were needed in the hallways. The district now needs 90 access points; however, currently, it only has 50, which Lijewski said “creates many coverage holes.” The district’s one-to-one program was implemented in 2009 with the purchase of 250 laptops for high school, which Lijewski said “maxed” the controller’s 50 access points. The addition of new technology has also created a need for wireless upgrading, as more than 250 ChromeBooks have been added since 2014 and 50 iPads, as well as 140 employees having laptops or other wireless devices and 240 high school students having MacBooks.

Board members approved the purchase of 28 ChromeStation Desktops for students in kindergarten through second grade. The Desktops are $350 each and would altogether cost $9,800. Currently, the students have eight-year-old laptops which Lijewski said are “falling apart.”