Superintendent brought back on part-time basis
Dan Sanderson | Staff Writer
The Crawford AuSable School District’s Board of Education agreed to offer a part-time interim superintendent position to the school chief that left the job just over a month ago.
The school board held a special meeting on Thursday, May 5, to consider applicants who applied for the part-time position.
Superintendent Joe Powers retired from his job with the school district effective March 31. He has taken a job as an educational consultant for a school construction firm.
The two applicants who applied to lead the school district on a month-to-month basis were Robert Hartwig, of Grayling, and Jose Vera, of Chelsea.
School Board President Wendy Kucharek said she had concerns about Hartwig since his last job as a superintendent was 10 years ago.
“One of my big concerns is laws have changed, policies have changed and education has changed and that’s a lot in 10 years,” she said.
Other school board members said that also had concerns with Vera since he still lived downstate.
“I’m not interested in a caretaker, and that’s what I think about both of these applicants,” said Dave Malm, a school board trustee.
After some discussion, the board unanimously voted to not interview the applicants and explore its other options.
Kucharek then proposed offering the position to Powers. The board voted again unanimously to offer the job to Powers.
Following the meeting, Kucharek said Powers agreed to serve as the school district’s interim superintendent.
One of Powers’ main jobs will be to assist the school board in its search for a successor for the position. Powers held the job for 13 years.
“We want to make sure we hire the best superintendent for our community, our students and our staff,” Kucharek said.
A small group of school staff, parents and community members attended the meeting.
Angie Golnick, a Grayling High School math teacher and president of the Crawford AuSable Federation of Teachers, said members of teachers’ union believe school officials should have posted the position earlier since they knew Powers was vacating the job in January.
“I think they should post the job for a full-time superintendent and move the process forward,” Golnick said.
Kim Schmidt, the school district’s business manager, was serving as the acting superintendent.
A number of teachers have submitted their letters saying they plan to retire at the end of the school year.