Superintendent Ben Kirby to depart Lake Orion, take position with Forest Hills school district

District continues search for a new superintendent
By Joseph Goral
Staff Writer
LAKE ORION — Lake Orion Community Schools Board of Education accepted Superintendent Ben Kirby’s resignation during its regular meeting on April 24.
“He will, and continues to be our superintendent until June 30,” board President Danielle Bresett said. “I know we’ve all had an opportunity to read (Kirby’s official resignation letter), and thank you for the kind words for Lake Orion.”
Kirby will complete his fourth year as LOCS superintendent before beginning his new position as superintendent of Forest Hills Public Schools on July 1. His last day with Lake Orion is June 30.
The Lake Orion school board hired Kirby in 2020 to take over after former Superintendent Marion Ginopolis’s retirement. Ginopolis spent 10 years in the position, beginning as an interim superintendent in 2010.
As superintendent of Lake Orion, Kirby begin his tenure overseeing around 7,000 students during the COVID-19 pandemic, working weekly with epidemiologists, local health professionals, health department officials and others to navigate the pandemic.
Bresett thanked Kirby for his “unwavering dedication and remarkable contributions” to the district, according to information on the district’s website.
“In our pursuit of a new superintendent,” Bresett said, “we are determined to find a leader who embodies our values and will nurture the extraordinary work happening within our schools.”
Kirby and Forest Hills Public Schools
Kirby was officially welcomed as the new superintendent of Forest Hills Public Schools in Grand Rapids by an announcement from the district on April 18, according to the district’s website. The district’s board of education unanimously approved a contract with Kirby in a roll call vote April 15.
Kirby was one of five candidates interviewed for the position after the search began in November due to former Superintendent Dan Behm’s retirement in June 2023. The Forest Hills board selected Michigan Leadership Institute to lead the search. Dr. Sara Shubel acted as interim superintendent during the search.
Superintendent search recap and timeline
LOCS’s superintendent search began during special board meetings on March 20 and April 3, the latter was when the board passed a Request for Proposal (RFP) to secure bids to select a search firm to assist in finding candidates.
The search firm’s roll will be to work with the board during the search and provide a range of services including creating a timeline, an outline of recommendations for the search, a position description, identifying qualified candidates and conducting background screenings, according to district documents.
The board confirmed in a meeting on April 10, that all five firms contacted for the search received an RFP – the receipts for which were to be returned by the firms before April 25 at noon.
Bresett said during the April 24 meeting that finalists will be selected in a special meeting on April 29.
The search firm finalists will present to the board and be interviewed during a special meeting on May 6 before one firm is ultimately selected.
Board Trustee Birgit McQuiston said administrators and all board members are required to be retrained on the new superintendent evaluation tool and rater reliability training by Sept. 1.
Any further timeline will be created in consultation with the selected search firm, according to LOCS’s website.
The board looks to hire a new superintendent by July 1. To learn more about the superintendent search, visit

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