By Megan Kelley
Lake Orion Community School’s Board of Education met on Dec. 18 for their final meeting of 2019.
This meeting was exceptionally important for the superintendent search process.
During their special meeting on Dec. 11, the board heard from three search firms regarding the scope of their services as well as how they will aid the district in the process for selecting a new superintendent.
The three firms in attendance on Dec. 11 were Ray and Associates, Michigan Association of School Boards and Michigan Leadership Institute.
Board members agreed to take the next week to process the information they received with the intention of making a final selection during their Dec. 18 meeting.
Right out of the gate, board vice president Scott Taylor suggested that the board eliminate Ray and Associates citing the cost as a reason to not move forward with the firm.
“I think that, to me, Ray and Associates…his fees are basically double and I think having discussed it on side bars it seems that half of his rate is based on a national search and I don’t necessarily know that that’s the smartest decision for us to make as stewards to spend that much more money,” Taylor said.
Board president Birgit McQuiston explained further that Ray and Associates would charge the board $19,000 plus expenses.
“It’s not that Lake Orion is not going to do a national search,” said Trustee Jake Singer. “Michigan School law is unique so knowing Michigan will be an important characteristic of a superintendent, most likely…we will attract people nationally and I felt the other two firms aren’t going to short us on that.”
The remaining board members agreed and Ray and Associates was taken off the table as a possible search firm.
Trustee Steve Drakos took the opportunity to voice his opinion stating that he was very happy with Michigan Leadership Institute and that he would like to go with them.
With very little discussion, the rest of the board agreed unanimously that Michigan Leadership Institute was the firm they would like to hire to aid in the rest of their superintendent search.
Though, MLI does not have an official signed contract yet, LOCS is expected to spend $7,700 on the services they provide.
Now that the search firm has been selected, the next step will be to survey community stakeholders before the job is expected to be posted in early 2020, according to district officials.