Since our first school was built on Wood Street, between Spring and Rice in 1837, Stockbridge has employed 26 superintendents. Some were historical footnotes and others were icons. The longest serving Stockbridge Superintendent was Jesse Batchelor, who guided the district from 1943 to 1970. Richard Howlett holds the record for being superintendent on three separate occasions, coming out of retirement twice to serve during transitions. Mr. Howlett and Mr. Batchelor were icons.
The search for a 27th Stockbridge Superintendent is underway. Last December the Stockbridge Board of Education confirmed the skills and characteristics they need in their new superintendent. They also launched the search early to be ahead of other districts to secure the most promising applicants. The entire process, outlined on our website, will take about five months and conclude this spring.
Applications for the position will be accepted by the district until February 15. There will be internal applicants, Stockbridge administrators who have prepared themselves to meet the challenges of the position. There will mostly be external applicants, prepared administrators from other districts.
As you would guess, with more than 600 public school districts in our state, superintendent searches commonly arise. I anticipate we will receive more than 25 applications in total. The added complications of the pandemic may suppress applications for the position.
Our school board is a member of the Michigan Association of School Boards (MASB). Founded in 1947, MASB supports school districts in many ways and is assisting the Stockbridge Board of Education in their search.
After the application deadline, those with the best credentials will be selected for an interview. Open to the public, interviews are scheduled for March 15 and 16. The substance of the board’s interview questions will be consistent between candidates. Finalists will be invited back for a second interview on March 22, also open to the public, from which a top prospect will emerge.
If all goes well the preferred candidate and the board will negotiate an employment contract and start date. There is much work to do. Securing and retaining a capable superintendent is one of the most important tasks a school board performs.