Ferndale Public Schools to search for new middle school principal

By: Mike Koury | Woodward Talk | Published November 5, 2018

FERNDALE — Ferndale Public Schools is searching for a new middle school principal.

Effective Oct. 28, Jason Gillespie resigned as principal of Ferndale Middle School for what the district said were “personal reasons.”

“Jason has been a longtime Eagle and will be greatly missed,” Superintendent Dania Bazzi said in an email to the Ferndale community. “We wish him well in his future endeavors.”

In his stead, Bazzi wrote, the district has asked former Ferndale High School Principal Roger Smith to serve in the interim at the middle school until a permanent replacement is selected. Smith, who retired as FHS principal in 2017, began working at the middle school Oct. 29.

“We are pleased to welcome Roger back to Ferndale as the interim principal of FMS,” Bazzi said.

“While this is not an ideal situation, being able to rely on a great leader like Mr. Smith puts our community in a great position. I am confident we will find a terrific individual to lead FMS long-term.”

Beyond the email statement, Bazzi declined to comment more on Gillespie’s resignation and the process to replace him.

Ferndale Public Schools Director of Communications Bill Good said Smith will stay on as interim principal until the start of the second semester, which will begin Jan. 28, 2019, when the permanent replacement will take over. He said a job posting should be posted soon.

“The HR department will conduct the search, and as far as the process from there, I’m not sure what exactly the process will look like, but when we’re looking for administrators, we’ll have some input from different aspects from the building,” he said. “A teacher committee will be a part of it. Community, parents, students will all be a part of that process as well, as we whittle down the candidate pool.

“The ultimate selection will be made by the superintendent, which then will be a recommendation made to the school board, who then has to approve it,” Good said.