ST. JOSEPH — St. Joseph Public Schools Superintendent Ann Cardon appears to be the leading candidate to take over as the superintendent of Traverse City Area Public Schools.

At the end of Monday’s St. Joseph school board meeting, Cardon, who came to the district in 2012, told trustees she was the only candidate to be invited back for a second interview and tour.

“It doesn’t mean I’ve got a signed contract and I’m leaving, but it looks like I’m the only one being asked to come back,” Cardon said.

She is expected to go on a tour of the district on May 29, meeting groups and faculty members in the process.

Traverse City’s Board of Education met in a closed session in early May to discuss the qualifications of 24 superintendent applicants. From there, the field was narrowed to six candidates, who all took part in in-person interviews on Saturday.

Final candidates were supposed to be selected Monday, but according to Cardon, she was the only one to receive an invite. The district’s new superintendent is expected to be named May 30.

“I love this district. I think we’ve done great work and we are in a great spot,” Cardon said. “As you all know, Traverse City has always been an area that Dave (Cardon’s husband) and I have been attracted to. It would be a good move for us as a family, too.”

School Board President Barry Conybeare issued an early congratulations, stating Cardon was likely going to be Traverse City’s next superintendent.

“Knowing they are only inviting you back, I think we can see the writing on the wall,” Conybeare said, “which is bittersweet for us because you are, and have been, a fantastic asset here in the St. Joe school system. I’ve enjoyed working with you on this board.”

Conybeare said the board is already considering the next step in finding Cardon’s replacement.

Along with Treasurer Chris Cook and Secretary Amy Marohn, Conybeare will form a three-person hiring committee.

Conybeare said Cook and Marohn were asked to serve on the committee because they had taken part in the hiring process when Cardon was brought on board.

Conybeare said he plans to reach out to former board president Amy Porritt-Peirce to see what the district did for its previous search.

“We will know on May 29 or 30 whether Ann and TCAPS have agreed to a contract,” Conybeare said. “We need to operate under the assumption that that’s a done deal. We should move as quickly as we can to identify the process, get candidates and conduct interviews.”

Cardon succeeded Al Skibbe, a St. Joseph native who worked in the school district for 21 years, including as superintendent from 2007 to 2012.

Prior to joining St. Joseph, Cardon was superintendent for Holton Public Schools in Muskegon County for three years.

Cardon has been an educator since 1995, with experience as a teacher, an elementary school principal and a director of curriculum, instruction and assessment. She has a bachelor’s, master’s and an educational specialist degree from Grand Valley State University.

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