Ferndale school board selects candidate to become superintendent

By: Mike Koury | Woodward Talk | Published June 22, 2022

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FERNDALE — Ferndale Public Schools is on the verge of hiring its new superintendent.

At a special meeting June 15, the Board of Education voted 7-0 to offer Bobbie Hayes Goodrum the opportunity to become the district’s new superintendent. Goodrum is the assistant superintendent for diversity, equity and inclusion at Farmington Hills Public Schools.

“We believe that she’s going to be a great leader for us (and) for the district,” Board President Sandra Dukhie said.

Dukhie stated that Goodrum’s skills will help Ferndale to further implement its strategic plan that was “written and driven” by the community. She also said her expertise and knowledge and her passion for educating and supporting the whole child, meaning not just in the classroom but also social and emotional needs, helped her stand out in the search process.

“We believe that her passion for the whole child and student voice is going to help elevate our work and help us be leaders in the education realm,” Dukhie said.

The June 15 meeting saw the board hold interviews with the two finalists for the position: Goodrum and Cassandra Baptiste, the assistant superintendent of teaching and learning for Oak Park Public Schools.

The search for a new superintendent began after it was announced at the end of March that Dania Bazzi would be leaving her role for the superintendent job in the West Bloomfield School District. Her final day as superintendent will be on June 30.

After a search process that lasted a couple of months, five finalists were selected at the beginning of June. All five were interviewed, and the list was whittled down to two, Goodrum and Baptiste, on June 11.

“Either choice would have been a win for us,” Dukhie said of Goodrum and Baptiste. “We were very lucky to have such a great candidate pool. They both would have been great candidates for Ferndale.”

A native of Detroit, Goodrum holds degrees from Howard University, Trinity University, Eastern Michigan University and Oakland University.

Goodrum comes to Ferndale with more than 23 years of educational experience as a teacher, principal and administrator. She has worked in Farmington Public Schools for the past 15 years. Prior to that, she has worked in school districts in Washington, D.C.; Howell and Detroit.

“While we hate to lose Dr. Goodrum, we are very excited for her as she takes her next step on her professional journey,” Farmington Public Schools Superintendent Christopher J. Delgado said in a prepared statement. “She is passionate about her work and she will lead with her heart as Ferndale’s next superintendent.”

Because the contract negotiations were ongoing, Goodrum could not be reached for comment, pending an agreement and approval from the Ferndale Board of Education.

“We offered her the position and we’re going to enter into contract negotiations and then later on, once we get on the other side of contract negotiations, the board will officially have a meeting and confirm, vote and approve her contract and have her start with us,” Dukhie said.

If approved, Goodrum is expected to start as superintendent on July 1.