EagleHerald Staff Writer
MENOMINEE—The search for an interim superintendent for Menominee Area Public Schools continues. At Monday’s Committee of the Whole meeting, the current interim superintendent, Steve Martin, said he was able to contact four candidates interested in the position.
Martin, who is also superintendent of the Menominee Intermediate School District, stepped into the role after MAPS’ regular superintendent, John Mans, went on leave with plans to return in April. Martin said his time in the position would need to be temporary, so a different interim superintendent would need to be found.
The process is still in its early stages, and no official discussions have been had with the candidates to whom Martin reached out. “Some candidates got a little bit more specific, you know, ‘I could be down there three days a week but I’d like to work remote for two,’ but these were just informal conversations,” he said.
Martin was not able to discuss the names of the four candidates, but said all four were retired school superintendents. “Not only are they interested in the position because it’s what they’ve done their entire careers, but they have a legitimate desire to help the district out. None of them need to do it, but there’s a desire to help out,” he said.
Martin said some interest was expressed in the idea of having two of the candidates tag-team the responsibilities of the job, however Board Member Hunter Mans had some concerns with this idea. “My biggest concern with those candidates is their ability to commit time; they’re retired, so to speak, but they’re contracted to work other jobs right now. And I’m not personally a fan of a time-share between the two; I think continuity in having one person take the helm of the ship is important,” he said.
Board vice-President Dawn Wesolowski said having a tag team of interim superintendents could work quite well. “You could have ideas bouncing off of each other, and that could turn out to be a fabulous idea. It could turn out just like you say, or it could be the exact opposite,” she said.
Board President Derek Butler said one candidate that had shown interest has experience with construction, which he said would be very helpful going forward with the district’s recently passed referendum. Mans said he also appreciated the distance this same candidate has from relationships with those in the district, saying this would allow that candidate to come into the position without any preconceived notions and could offer a fresh look at the district during the interim period.
“If the board can agree on who the top two candidates are,” Martin said, “then we could move on to some of the terms, such as the time spent in the district, which I think we’ve all kind of agreed on; maybe only in district for three or four days a week, but available for five, or even more. So if a principal needs to call this person for support, they know they can do that,” he said.
Martin said it’s not uncommon right now for school districts to be looking for interim superintendents, but he said the nice thing about the four he’s contacted so far is that if things change and they’re only in the position for a couple of months, they are alright with that. “With the timeline, with John hopefully coming back in April, it’s difficult for someone to leave a current job to come here and it’s only two months. Maybe that changes, but that’s the beauty of all these candidates. If they needed to be here for only two months, they’re OK with that. They’re here to help,” he said.