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Principal Search for North Pauses, Search to Continue Later This Year

Grosse Pointe North will go without a head principal this school year and district administrators will provide support for the administrative staff at the high school as an interim solution after a search failed to provide adequate candidates.

Assistant Superintendent of Human Resources Jon Dean said although he was pleased with the process, especially the parental involvment, in a recent search to , the position will not be filled this school year.

Instead, the position will remain open and the search will begin again later this year, Dean said Monday in an update to the school board. Dean and will serve as support to the remaining administration at , Dean said.

Both have experience at the high school level.

The time frame the district had to find a new principal was not ideal, Dean said, explaining the district administration made its best attempt to make it work. The better time of year for such a search is December to February, he said.

Rather than present an inferior candidate to the board for approval just to fill the vacancy, he said, the decision was made to put the search on hold for the moment and it will start back up in December.

"I am not happy about that. I don't expect anyone else to be happy about that, however I am comfortable with it because I wouldn't want to bring to this Board of Education someone, anyone who we would not be convinced would be a great candidate," Dean said.

More than 50 people participated in interviews during the last two weeks, including students, parents, North teachers, administration and support staff, and community members, Dean said, describing the process as thorough.

While there were candidates some liked none were "the exact right fit for North," he said.

The district opened the position for applications after Bearden announced his departure at the end of the school year. He left after six years and is now working at Detroit Country Day Schoool.

Within a week the district began the search. Dean said he was pleased by the involvmenet of the community, noting about and more than 100 parents and community members volunteered to help with the interview process.

Frank Walshingham July 25, 2012 at 01:49 PM
With all the trouble at Grosse Pointe North, letting things go for a year without a principle to take charge is yet another foolhardy decision by the schoolboard.
Margaret Weertz July 25, 2012 at 02:53 PM
North is a stellar school that needs a perfect fit in its principal. I commend the administration for not rushing to install someone who is not extraordinary. I believe a visionary leader will emerge for North given adequate time for the process.
R. Hicks July 25, 2012 at 05:27 PM
I'm with you. The Board has made the right decision.
Frank Walshingham July 25, 2012 at 08:53 PM
Another just like the visionary leader who was the school board's last choice? What visionary stuff was found on his hard drive?
Kristina Kaiser July 26, 2012 at 04:14 PM
Exactly what trouble is going on at North? I am in the building almost every day throughout the school year and summer, and have not seen a whole lot of this "trouble" people have been mentioning.
Bob Carr July 30, 2012 at 02:17 AM
Why not keep looking until the right candidate is found rather than sitting on their hands for another half year? Guess what: the timing for a change like this is never going to be ideal. But leadership is important. Realizing this, businesses and professional organizations plan ahead for major transitions. GPPSS process appears to be to wait for key personnel to move on (or till they are fired) and then hope for the best. Better for Mr. Dean and his department to keep pushing on this till they get the right candidate--or engage a retained recruiter to speed things along--than to kick this can down the road till December.

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