In early July the Potterville school board appointed an interim superintendent for the school district. Tom Pillar, a retired superintendent from Waverly schools, is set to fill the interim role until the summer of 2018, by which point the Potterville school board hopes to have a candidate to fill the position permanently.

The need for an interim superintendent follows after former superintendent Tim Donahue resigned from his position in May of 2017. Donahue resigned from his position due to a new employment opportunity with Buchanan Public Schools. According to school board president, Stacey Sipes, Donahue had been open to the possibility of a new superintendent position for a couple of years.

Donahue started as an interim superintendent at Potterville schools in 2006, before moving into the permanent role. Because the Potterville school board had not done a thorough search, interview, and hiring process for a superintendent for over ten years, the current board decided to appoint someone temporarily to the role so there would be ample time to find a suitable candidate.

Upon deciding to take more time and care in selecting a new superintendent, the board next decided to seek the aid of an executive search service, which is a common standard according to Sipes. The Michigan Association of School Boards is providing the search service for Potterville schools, which is an organization interim superintendent Pillar has worked closely with.

In moving forward with the search process Sipes indicated a few things the school board is looking for in a candidate. Ample knowledge and experience with budget, ability to draw and retain staff members, and ability to conform to the needs of a smaller school district and community are a few of the basic characteristics for a desired superintendent. Quality leadership skills are generally what the board is seeking out for the district.

The school board, however, acknowledges that this is a community decision, according to Sipes. She and other board members are eager to hear from members of the Potterville community via online surveys, town hall style forums, fall conferences, and more. Sipes encourages all members of the community, parents of current students or not,  jbring forward input. She also hopes to include Michigan Association of School Boards on the upcoming conversations and forums.

To learn more about the Potterville superintendent search and how to be involved in that process, readers are encouraged to visit the Potterville Public Schools website and locate the school board member contact information.