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February 14, 2013

Robert Shaner to step in as RCS superintendent March 1

By Mary Beth Almond
C & G Staff Writer

ROCHESTER — It’s official.

Just last week, the Rochester Community Schools Board of Education unanimously approved a contract to make Robert Shaner the district’s new superintendent.

Shaner said he was drawn to the superintendent position in Rochester because of the reputations of the community and school district, which he said are both “outstanding.”

“There is high student achievement, and the community is very dedicated to the school district,” he added.

He said he feels “greatly honored” to be selected for the job.

“I think Rochester is one of the premier school districts in Michigan, and I’m deeply honored. I look to exceed the community’s expectations,” he said.

Shaner was chosen — from a pool of 26 candidates — as the successor to Fred Clarke, who resigned in September after 14 months on the job to pursue his “true passion” — working to close the achievement gap in challenged districts, he said. Clarke’s annual salary was $172,000.

Since then, Tresa Zumsteg, former Oakland Intermediate School District deputy superintendent, has been acting as interim.

A negotiating committee recently met with Shaner — the current executive director of instruction and technology for Warren Consolidated Schools — to smooth out the details of the contract, which runs from March 1, 2013, to June 30, 2016. The contract includes a $182,800 salary and an annual $6,200 toward a tax-sheltered annuity, for a total annual compensation of $189,000.

Board President Beth Talbert said the committee considered a couple of factors in determining compensation.

“We looked at the average salary of superintendents in Oakland County that have districts with over 10,000 students, and the average salary is $202,000. Then we looked at the average salary of all superintendents in Oakland County — districts range from 2,500 students, some up to 15,000. We’re the second largest district — and the average salary of the whole county superintendents was $190,000. That’s where we ended up with the numbers that we did,” she said.

Shaner will also receive insurance benefits, 25 vacation days, 12 sick or personal days, and reimbursement for on-the-job mileage for travel of 100 miles or more.

“So, for instance, if he was going to Lansing or going out of town for a conference, then he would be reimbursed for mileage,” Talbert added.

After his first year on the job, board members will determine whether to increase Shaner’s salary or keep it the same during his first evaluation in June of 2014.

RCS Community Relations Manager Debbi Hartman said in an email that the district is “pleased” the superintendent search provided four qualified candidates and that the board was able to select one who is “the best fit for the district.”

“Several administrators will have the opportunity to meet with Dr. Shaner during the month of February to establish a smooth transition, and we are looking forward to his arrival on March 1,” she added.

Shaner has served as executive director of instruction and technology for the Warren Consolidated School District — which has an enrollment of 15,600 students and a $160 million budget — for the past two years. Prior to that, he held various positions in the Warren Consolidated School District, including high school principal, middle school assistant principal, high school teacher and crisis coordinator. He also served as a juvenile detective for the Troy Police Department for three years and served in the Marine Corps. Shaner has a Ph.D. in educational leadership from Oakland University, an educational specialist degree in educational leadership from Wayne State University, a master’s degree in education from Central Michigan University and a bachelor’s degree in political science from the University of Detroit. He lives in Shelby Township with his wife and three children.

You can reach C & G Staff Writer Mary Beth Almond at malmond@candgnews.com or at (586)498-1060.