Following the last interview in the first round of superintendent candidates, Board voted to bring three of the men back for second interviews. One candidate, Paul Long, superintendent for Pennsbury School District in Pennsylvania, has been eliminated.
Michael Jon Dean, assistant superintendent for human resources at Birmingham Public Schools; Richard Machesky, assistant superintendent for secondary education in Troy School District; and Grosse Pointe's assistant superintendent for human resources, Tom Harwood, will each return for a second interview.
The board voted unanimously to bring Machesky back. Meanwhile, the board voted 5 to 2 to bring Dean back and 4 to 3 to bring Harwood back. There was brief discussion of the candidates before the final votes were taken.
Board member Joan Dindoffer motioned to bring each of the three school administrators back, explaining she knows a lot about Harwood since he works in the district but would like to learn more about Dean and Machesky.
Steininger voiced concern about a tactic used by Dean during recent labor negotiations in which Dean returned a portion of original concessions agreed to by some of Birmingham's unions after the district received specific information about several funding sources that were less than certain for a stretch of time. Considering the rocky road the state is likely going to doll out to the school districts, Steininger said he wouldn't have been so quick to return a portion of the concessions.
There was no discussion about Long and no one motioned bringing him back for a second interview.
A fifth candidate, also from Pennsylvania, withdrew himself from consideration Tuesday due to a family emergency. He declined to reschedule because he didn't want to delay , according to James Morse, of Hazard, Young, Attea and Associates—the company hired to find a pool of candidates.
During Harwood's interview Tuesday, he emphasized the need to interact with students, parents and the community. He also emphasized his background in special education and procedures he implemented as a superintendent in Suttons Bay and Glen Lake. Chuckles could be heard from the audience when board members asked Harwood about his tactics in labor negotiations—a question that even made him smile. He described the contracts as "the most creative in the state."
The board rotated asking a series of pre-determined questions and allowed each candidate to ask questions of them afterward. All the interviews were recorded and will be televised now that all have been completed.
Dean, Machesky and Long with the board.
The next step in the selection process is an introduction to the community slated for July 11 and 12. The board hopes to have a final candidate selected and to begin contract negotiations by July 18.
Although the interviews were open to the public, few attended. Most in the audience were familiar faces to the district, including teachers and administrators.