GRPS to search internally for interim superintendent

Posted at 9:52 PM, Apr 22, 2019
and last updated 2019-04-22 23:11:43-04

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. — The clock is ticking for Grand Rapids Public Schools to find a new superintendent.

Last weekend, the school board decided to scrap its two finalists after determining they weren’t the right fit. On Monday, the school board held a special meeting to decide how they’re going to fill the position.

Current superintendent Teresa Weatherall Neal will be stepping down at the end of June, and that is the board’s deadline to find the right candidate.

“We basically have two months before we don’t have a superintendent, and I think staff is anxious about who is going to be in charge in July,” Trustee Tony Baker said.

Trustee Katherine-Downes said she is looking for the best solution for the district and the students, including her own grandchildren.

“We just have a specific job here at Grand Rapids Public that a special person has to do, and I need to find that person for myself and to know and to know in my heart that this is the right thing to do,” she said.

Since the board has yet to all agree on who the right person is, the temporary solution is to fill the position internally with an interim superintendent.

While some parents and even board members would like the process to go faster, President Kristian Grant says speed isn’t the board’s main motivator.

“Our goal will always be having the right person in place, who has the best for our students at heart,” Grant said.

The board plans to meet again May 6 and would like to post the internal job vacancy May 7, then close the applications on May 10-12.

Grant says if that still comes up short, they could then widen their search to include external candidates.