Search underway for next Fraser Public Schools superintendent

By: Nick Mordowanec | Fraser - Clinton Township Chronicle | Published February 27, 2018

FRASER — The search for the next Fraser Public Schools superintendent has officially begun.

FPS Board of Education President Laura Edghill confirmed that on Feb. 12 during a regular meeting, the board formally appointed Michigan Leadership Institute, or MLI, to head its search process for the successor to David Richards.

MLI is a privately held, Michigan-based consulting business which serves K-12 school districts and public institutions, such as hospitals, libraries and community colleges. The institute states that it “is committed to supporting the success of public education by developing, deploying and supporting outstanding executive leadership.”

Edghill said the district has worked with MLI in the past for governance training, having “many good experiences with them.” The institute was also responsible for the search that eventually produced the appointment of Richards as superintendent in 2010.

Richards announced Jan. 12 that he would be stepping down from his position at the end of this school year. After eight years as superintendent and five years as a principal, he deemed it the right time to venture to new pastures.

 “It’s been the best experience of my career, and I mean that sincerely,” Richards said. “Fraser is such a tight-knit community and there’s so much support for the schools and so much support for giving our kids experiences, to give them a successful future. It’s been wonderful to be part of that process.”

Shortly after that announcement, Fraser High School Principal Michael Lonze, who spent eight years as the school’s principal, officially resigned Jan. 29 to accept a position as assistant superintendent of human resources at Walled Lake Schools.

Currently, Rick Repicky, FHS principal from 1997 to 2002 and FPS superintendent from 2002 to 2010, is the acting principal. Due to previous obligations, he will remain in his current role until April 20.

Edghill said the application deadline for the new superintendent is April 6, with MLI assisting the school board in reviewing candidates and prioritizing a select list for possible interviews — the “first round” of which will take place during public meetings the week of April 16.

Then, second interviews will follow, with potential site visits to current locations of applied finalists. The board hopes to make a final decision by the end of April, with an anticipated starting date of July 1 for the new superintendent.

“I think I speak for the entire team in saying that we hope to bring in another energetic, compassionate, visionary leader,” Edghill said. “We believe our kids and staff can achieve amazing things, and we know we need leadership willing to set the kind of bold goals that will help us all get there.”