On Friday, the Michigan State Board of Education identifies five candidates for Michigan’s top education post. Candidates will be publicly interviewed on April 22 and 24. Finalists will be interviewed once again on May 7, during a public forum. The State Board of Education’s hiring timeline anticipates a mid-summer start. The five finalists are:
Brenda Cassellius, former Minnesota Commissioner of Education, where she counts alternative licensure, educator evaluation, early literacy, early childhood education and increased funding among key accomplishments. Prior to serving as the Minnesota commissioner, Dr. Cassellius was a classroom teacher, administrator and superintendent.
Randy Liepa, superintendent of Wayne RESA, president of the Michigan Association of Intermediate Scool Administrators, and member of the School Finance Research Collaborative Steering and Technical Committee. Previously, Dr. Liepa was the superintendent of Livonia Public School and has also worked for Wayne-Westland Community School District.
Michael Rice, superintendent of Kalamazoo Public School, which has grown under his tenure, created full-day pre-kindergarten, improved reading achievement, Advanced Placement (AP) participation and increased the high school graduation rate. Dr. Rice began his career as a high school teacher, previously served as a district superintendent out-of-state, and is a member of the School Finance Research Collaborative Steering and Technical committee.
Jeanice Kerr Swift, superintendent of Ann Arbor Public Schools cites improved achievement, quality academic and arts programming and improved fund stability as accomplishments during her tenure. Dr. Swift has been a classroom teacher, teacher coach, principal and school district administrator out-of-state. She was named Michigan Superintendent of the Year, 2018, by the Michigan Association of School Administrators.
G. Eric Thomas, chief turnaround officer at the Georgia Board of Education, has been responsible for developing and executing the turnaround strategy to support Georgia’s lowest-performing schools. Previously, Dr. Thomas was a teacher, turnaround-school principal, principal coach and school district administrator.
Senate K-12 and Education Appropriations Subcommittee meets on Thursday, April 11 at 8:30 a.m. in the Harry T. Gast Appropriations Room on the 3rd floor of the State Capitol Building. Agenda: presentations by the Detroit Area Precollege Engineering Program (DAPCEP), Lighthouse Academy, Eidex, Michigan Restaurant Association and Square One.