Rochester Community Schools Superintendent Robert Shaner was surprised during a recent Board of Education meeting, where he was named the Michigan Superintendent of the Year.

Rochester Community Schools Superintendent Robert Shaner was surprised during a recent Board of Education meeting, where he was named the Michigan Superintendent of the Year.

Photo by Erin Sanchez


Head of Rochester Community Schools named state’s Superintendent of the Year

By: Mary Beth Almond | Rochester Post | Published October 23, 2019

  Michigan Association of  Superintendents and Administrators Executive Director Chris Wigent presents Shaner with  the Michigan Superintendent of the Year Award Oct. 7.

Michigan Association of Superintendents and Administrators Executive Director Chris Wigent presents Shaner with the Michigan Superintendent of the Year Award Oct. 7.

Photo by Erin Sanchez

Advertisement

ROCHESTER/ROCHESTER HILLS/OAKLAND TOWNSHIP — Robert Shaner, the superintendent of Rochester Community Schools, was recently named the 2020 Michigan Superintendent of the Year by the Michigan Association of Superintendents and Administrators.

“I don’t see this as an award for me,” Shaner said. “I think it’s a symbol of really great work that goes on in the school district every day and goes on across school districts in Michigan.”

The Michigan Superintendent of the Year Award, according to Michigan Association of Superintendents and Administrators Executive Director Chris Wigent, is presented to a member who has shown “tremendous effort and dedication to enriching the lives of children and the community as a whole.”

“He is a tireless advocate for the students and the staff of Rochester Schools and for public education, both in the district and throughout the state,” Wigent said during a surprise award presentation for Shaner at the RCS Board of Education meeting Oct. 7.

Shaner was chosen for the honor by the Michigan Association of Superintendents and Administrators’ superintendent selection committee — which includes representatives from Michigan’s various education stakeholders, including superintendents; the Michigan Parent Teacher Association; and local school boards, principals and teachers.

Shaner has proven himself to be “an impeccable leader” for Rochester Community Schools, according to Wigent.

Under Shaner’s leadership, Wigent said, the district created a strategic plan to ensure that all students and staff have a high degree of cultural awareness to make sure every person who comes into the district feels welcome.

“I also found it extremely impressive that under the direction of Dr. Shaner, the Rochester Community School District has focused on community engagement, including the formation of a Social-Emotional Task Force to deal with societal issues, including opioid addiction and depression. He has also implemented a new budgeting process for the district, earning an Association of School Business Officials’ Meritorious Budget Award for two years, and he worked hard to competitively sell bonds to retire district bonds at a faster rate,” Wigent added.

Shaner said he is particularly proud of the implementation of the district’s orchestra program, the new Caring Steps Children’s Center, the global education experiences for students, and the district’s focus on equity and inclusion, as well as social and emotional health.

Shaner, who has served as the RCS superintendent since 2013, began teaching history and leadership at Sterling Heights High School while earning a Master of Arts degree in education from Central Michigan University. He later earned his Education Specialist degree in administration from Wayne State University and was appointed the assistant principal at Grissom Middle School. Shaner was then selected as the principal of Sterling Heights High School, his alma mater, and also previously served as the executive director of instruction and technology for the Warren Consolidated School District.

Prior to his career in education, Shaner served in the U.S. Marine Corps and worked as a police officer with both the St. Clair Shores and Troy police departments.

“He is a leader among the superintendents here in Oakland County,” added Wanda Cook-Robinson, the superintendent of Oakland Schools.

The Michigan Association of Superintendents and Administrators will once again recognize Shaner at its 2020 Midwinter Conference in January in Detroit. He is also in the running for the National Superintendent of the Year Award given out by the American Association of School Administrators.

Advertisement