SJ schools narrows superintendent search

The St. Joseph Public Schools Administration building is pictured March 15, 2018.

ST. JOSEPH — St. Joseph schools has two finalists remaining for its soon-to-be-vacant superintendent seat.

After two days of interviews with four candidates, the school board is inviting Dr. Thomas Bruce, director of curriculum and instruction at Arcadia Unified School District in California, and Thomas Livezey, superintendent at Oakridge Public Schools, for its last round of interviews on Monday.

As part of the process, audience members provided written comments on the candidate to the board.

After the initial interviews, the board unanimously decided to invite Bruce and Livezey back for a second round of interviews.

“After deliberating, it was apparent that we were focused on Mr. Livezey and Dr. Bruce,” Board President Barry Conybeare said in a news release. “Both bring a tremendous background in curriculum, instruction and assessment. Plus, they are successful educational leaders in their communities and are student-focused.”

Livezey will be interviewed first at 4 p.m. on Monday. Bruce’s interview will follow at 5:30 p.m.

An open house will be held before the interviews in order to provide the public an opportunity to meet both candidates. The open house runs 2:30-3:30 p.m.

The interviews and open house, which are open to the public, will be held at the Administrative Office Conference Room in the North Lincoln Administration Building at 3275 Lincoln Ave. in St. Joseph.

Bruce has served the Arcadia Unified School District in multiple capacities. He has been the director of curriculum, instruction and assessment since 2016.

Prior to his current position, he was a middle school principal for two years and an elementary school principal for six years. Bruce began his educational career in Howell, Mich., as an elementary school teacher for nine years and as an assistant principal/head teacher for four years.

Livezey has served the Oakridge Public Schools as superintendent since 2009. He was assistant superintendent and director of curriculum for more than four years at Oakridge.

Livezey also served as director of instruction and technology specialist, interim assistant principal and elementary school teacher at Godwin Heights Public Schools. He began his career in education as a special education teacher in Herscher, Ill.

“We look forward to learning more about them, their work and ideas on Monday,” Conybeare said. “We are focused on identifying a leader who is the best fit for our students and community as we continue our commitment to excellence and improvement.”

The district began its search after Ann Cardon, superintendent for the past seven years, agreed to become superintendent of the Traverse City Area Public School District. She is expected to begin working at TCAPS on Aug. 1.

In June, the board approved a contract for $6,000 with the Michigan Leadership Institute to provide consulting services for the search.

Dave Killips, regional president of the Institute, has been working with the district to find qualified candidates for consideration.

District officials have previously said they hope to have a new superintendent by Sept. 1.

Contact: twittkowski@TheHP.com, 932-0358, Twitter: @TonyWittkowski