Beels chosen as new Clawson superintendent
CLAWSON — It was a tough choice between two solid candidates, but the Clawson Public Schools Board of Education selected Monique Beels to be its next superintendent.
During a May 3 meeting, the board selected Beels, currently the assistant superintendent for curriculum, assessment, instruction and technology with Grosse Pointe Public School System, over fellow finalist Jerry Jennex, the superintendent of Capac Community Schools.
Following a week of contract negotiations, board President Kevin Turner said May 11 that he expected Beels’ contract to be finalized for approval at the May 14 board meeting, held after press time. He declined to reveal specifics, such as salary, until after everything was finalized, but said Beels would begin July 1, after current CPS Superintendent Cheryl Rogers retires June 30.
“We had deliberation. We had audience (input). We got feedback from the people who went on the site visits,” Turner said. “Everyone was very complimentary of both candidates. We knew we had a superintendent and we just had to decide which would be the best fit for our school district.”
Beels has been in her current position with GPPS for the past two years following a four-year stint as an assistant superintendent of academic service with Novi Community Schools. Turner said her accomplishments in those positions were some of the reasons she was chosen to succeed Rogers.
“Her background in curriculum and student achievement was one of the things. Another (was) leadership ability,” Turner said.
With an educational specialist degree in administration and supervision, plus a master’s degree in elementary education, Beels had also previously served as an assistant principal at Jefferson Middle School in Lakeview Public Schools for four years and a high school/middle school math, chemistry and science teacher at Lakeview Public Schools for five years.
She had been gunning for a superintendent position in recent years, finishing as one of the final six considered for the Traverse City Area Public Schools superintendent position in spring 2010 while still at Novi before taking the GPPS job.
Turner said the district would host workshops to get Beels comfortable with her new position. He praised the pool of 24 candidates as a whole, which also included Forest Hills Central High School Principal Terry Urquhart and Farmington Public Schools Assistant Superintendent Catherine Cost in the final four.
“Both candidates were awesome candidates,” Turner said of Beels and Jennex. “Mike Wilmont at the Michigan Leadership Institute did a great job getting us high quality candidates.”
Wilmot, MLI president/CEO, said there were a lot of good candidates, but echoed Turner in that every district needs to find the best fit, not just the best resume on paper, when selecting someone to lead their school district.
“The board selected them based on the input from the audience, as well as their own deliberations,” Wilmot said. “If you look at the list of skills and qualifications the board wanted, they both fit those, just in different ways. It’s a matter of deciding who’s the best fit.”