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Grand Rapids wants help defining "superintendent profile"

Lindsey Smith
Michigan Radio
Superintendent Bernard Taylor quizes kids' math and spelling skills at a district-sponsored 'park party' in August. Taylor has agreed to resign by next summer.

The search for the next superintendent of Grand Rapids schools is underway. The school board voted unanimously to work with the Kent Intermediate School District and the Michigan Association of School Boards to develop traits the district needs in a new leader; a “superintendent profile”.

Grand Rapids Superintendent Bernard Taylor agreed to resign at the end of this school year after applying for jobs outside of Michigan’s third largest school district.

Paul Helder is president of the Grand Rapids Education Association. In the two months since Taylor’s announcement, he says he’s been left to wonder about the process of replacing him.

“When will we be invited to the table to talk about what we think should be happening in the district?” Helder asked the board in his opening remarks at the board meeting Monday night.

Members of the Grand Rapids school board say they’ll ask everyone in the community for input.

Raynard Ross was elected to the Grand Rapids school board this year.

“(I) definitely don’t want it to be where the person who speaks loudest seems to be speaking for everyone. So I think it’s important that whatever the process is, it’s all inclusive.”

Board President Senita Lenear says the board could have surveys posted on the district’s website as early as next week. Members of the school board will also come up with a list of stakeholders who will meet in groups. The results will create a superintendent profile to use in the search. 

The Grand Rapids school board will likely hire a third party to conduct the actual superintendent search.

Lindsey Smith is Michigan Radio’s investigative reporter. She previously served as Michigan Radio’s Morning News Editor and West Michigan Reporter.
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