Timeline in place for superintendent search

Don Campbell / HP staff Watervliet High School

WATERVLIET — Watervliet Public Schools should have a new permanent superintendent by mid-March.

The Watervliet school board hired Dave Killips, with the Michigan Leadership Institute, Monday night to head up the search for a new superintendent.

Retired Brandywine Superintendent John Jarpe has been serving as interim superintendent since last month when Kevin Schooley moved over to lead South Haven Public Schools.

Killips said the job has been posted since Jan. 3, but as he gets feedback from the board, staff and the community, the job description will include more specifically what Watervliet wants in a school chief.

Starting today, the community can visit watervlietps.org and fill out a three-question survey to help.

“It’s amazing how much information we get from three questions,” Killips said. “If 25 people say they want to see the superintendent out in the community, I will list that in the information for the board 25 times so you can see how much the community wants that quality in a new superintendent.”

He said applicants will have until Feb. 15 to apply for the job, then the school board will review applications on Feb. 25. He said the board should favor quality over quantity of applicants.

The board set tentative dates to interview candidates on March 4, 5 and 6, with a second round of interviews tentatively set for March 12 and 13. All of those at 6:30 p.m.

“On the 13th, hopefully the board can make a decision on the candidate they want,” Killips said.

He warned the board that the pool for superintendents isn’t very deep, and that they’ll likely get a rookie. He said the average tenure of a superintendent is three years.

“But you’d rather have the Energizer Bunny for three years than Eeyore for 10,” Killips said.

He further said that if MLI doesn’t find the right candidate then they’ll keep working.

Contact: anewman@TheHP.com, 932-0357, Twitter: @HPANewman