South Lake superintendent to retire at end of June

By: Kristyne E. Demske | St. Clair Shores Sentinel | Published March 23, 2016

Pamela Balint

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ST. CLAIR SHORES — After spending decades in the district, even helping to open one of its schools, South Lake Schools Superintendent Pamela Balint will retire at the end of the 2016 school year.

Balint began working in South Lake as a teacher in 1993 and worked with a group of other teachers to open the Koepsell Education Center in 1996 as a William Glasser Quality School. She went on to become principal of the school, and then curriculum director of the district before being named superintendent six years ago.

“I’ve had a long connection with the district,” she said. “I think what I miss now, and what I’ll continue to miss, is the kind of connections and relationships that you build when you’re a teacher in the classroom.

“Just being a part of South Lake Schools — it’s my second home, it’s my second family. It’s always hard to leave that.”

South Lake Schools Board of Education President Charlotte Rebelein said that they have hired the Metropolitan Detroit Bureau of School Studies to conduct a search for Balint’s replacement.

“We were kind of sad about it, but we realize that she’s come to a point in her life where she needs to make a change in what she’s doing in her life,” Rebelein said of Balint. “Everything that takes place from this point until the interviews is all through the Metro Bureau.”

As part of the search process, the bureau will hold a community forum at 6 p.m. March 23 in the South Lake High School media center for the community to learn about the search process, ask questions and share their thoughts about a new superintendent with the consultants. Those interested, whether they attend the forum or not, are welcome to take a survey on www.solake.org about their opinions on a new superintendent.

Rebelein said the consultants will screen applications and recommend applicants to the board. The board will review the recommended applications, with names redacted, and will only know who has applied when they come in for an interview.

“We are looking to find someone who will be able to continue on from where we are and help us to move forward,” she said. “Whether the person is an internal or external candidate, we will only see what they have sent us in the applications.

“We’re looking for the best fit.”

Balint, who lives in Harrison Township with her husband, Greg, said it is a difficult responsibility for the board to pick a new superintendent. 

“You really need to invest in doing this process correctly,” she said. “They really want whoever the person who takes this role to understand” what it takes to lead the district.

Balint has a 39-year-old son and a 35-year-old daughter and is looking forward to being able to visit them and her grandchildren more often. 

“I really have enjoyed working and being a part of the community, and I’ve built a lot of ... relationships over the years,” she said. “I really value those and I really felt that I’ve been fortunate to be able to serve the community and the district for the past 20-plus years.

“It’s going to be hard and I’m going to miss everyone, but I’m going to enjoy moving on to the next phase of life.”

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