GP Assistant Superintendent to Lead Clawson Schools
The Clawson school board voted unanimously to hire the Grosse Pointe Public Schools Assistant Superintendent Monique Beels to replace retiring Clawson Superintendent Cheryl Rogers.
The Clawson Board of Education voted Thursday night to hire Monique Beels as superintendent of the school district. Beels has been with Grosse Pointe Public Schools for two years as assistant superintendent for instructional curriculum, technology and assessment.
Superintendent Cheryl Rogers announced in February that she would retire after five years of working in the district. Her retirement will be effective in June.
Clawson board members met for about one hour Thursday to discuss the qualities, experience, references and school community feedback on Beels and finalist Gerald Jennex, who is superintendent of Capac Community Schools. About 20 people attended the meeting and applauded the board after it voted for Beels.
Neither Beels or Jennex were at Thursday's meeting.
Clawson school board President Kevin Turner, along with other board members, said it was a tough decision. The references and feedback from the Grosse Pointe school community were appealing, he said.
"Nearly every person we talked to talked about how she focuses on student achievement," Turner said of Beels. "So it's good for us to be on the cutting edge."
Some parents and school officials expressed concern during the search process about Beels' limited experience in certain areas, such as union negotiations. The Clawson superintendent has more responsibilities because Clawson is a smaller district than Grosse Pointe, board members said. Clawson has about 1800 students in its district compared to the roughly 8500 students in Grosse Pointe.
Turner said he is not concerned about that. "We've got enough staff to support her," he said.
Before the board made its unanimous choice of Beels, four audience members stood up to discuss their thoughts on the candidates.
Kenwood parent Kimmi Carlesimo went on the site visits to Capac Community and Grosse Pointe schools this week and had a chance to hear feedback from the districts.
Carlesimo said the Grosse Pointe community described Beels as passionate, humble, rational, approachable, visible and a giver. She said she was "comfortable and confident" with the board's decision to hire Beels.
"I commend the board for their openness and transparency during this process," Carlesimo said.
Schalm parent Kelly Jones said she has previously worked under Beels in the Warren Woods and Novi school districts. "Monique is the real deal," Jones said. "I’ve worked with enough superintendents and teachers.... in my experience to know who knows what they're doing and who doesn’t, and she does."
The district will enter into contract negotiations with Beels, Turner said, and if there is an agreement, she will officially start as superintendent on July 1.
School board member Mike Bosnic is looking forward to working with Beels. "She is very goal-oriented and results-oriented," Bosnic said.