After a productive session with consultant Michael Washburn July 9, the Zeeland Board of Education agreed to begin the hunt for an interim superintendent among people they know best: internal candidates and recent ZPS retirees. The interim superintendent would serve the district until the Board can complete a search for a permanent leader to succeed Dave Barry, who resigned June 30 after one year with the district.
Employees of Zeeland Public Schools or recent ZPS retirees have until this Friday, July 13, at 3 p.m. to submit their resumes (extended from the original deadline of Thursday, July 12). Candidates must have a master's degree and extensive experience in education and school administration. Resumes should be emailed to Administrative Assistant Mary Miilu at 183 W Roosevelt Avenue, Zeeland, 49464. Ms. Miilu can be reached at 616-748-3002 or email@example.com.
Interim candidate list will be reviewed next Monday
During the next week, three school board members—President Tom DenHerder, Vice President Dave Lutz and Secretary Rick Dernberger—will study the applications submitted. They will present the names they feel should be considered to the entire board when it meets for its organizational meeting at 11:30 a.m. Monday, July 16, at the ZPS central office. DenHerder said he has already been contacted by three current or former ZPS employees who are interested in the interim position.
Immediately after Barry's resignation, the Board named David VanGinhoven as acting superintendent until an interim is hired. DenHerder said that VanGinhoven, who is Zeeland Public Schools' assistant superintendent for business services, "brings a great deal of experience and wisdom to the table at a crucial time and we appreciate his leadership. However, we want to be sensitive to the work load and responsibilities he is already carrying, thus we are moving ahead with the interim search."
The Board also launched its first step toward finding a permanent superintendent by contacting the Hazard, Young, Attea and Associates executive search firm. The organization has agreed to conduct a new search with no fee, because they guarantee to do so if an individual hired through their search process does not stay on the job for more than a year. Dave Barry was hired July 1, 2011, to succeed Gary Feenstra who retired after 18 years of service.
The Board met for just over an hour Monday with Washburn, a retired superintendent from Forest Hills Public Schools, who works with Michigan districts who are in the search for superintendents.