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Mayfield, Northville discuss sharing interim superintendent

April 9, 2013
By ARTHUR CLEVELAND , The Leader Herald

Members of the Mayfield and Northville school boards began the process of setting up a contract for their shared interim superintendent Monday night.

Earlier this month, the boards announced plans for the school districts to share an interim superintendent to save money. The two boards reached a consensus on sharing a superintendent, but no official vote has been taken.

Currently, Debra M. Lynker is serving as Northville Central School District's superintendent.

Mayfield Superintendent Paul Williamsen is retiring in June.

Robert Suits, a member of the Mayfield Board of Education, said after an executive session, the boards set up a subcommittee to work on establishing a contract for the shared interim superintendent.

According to Suits, the subcommittee will be made up of two members of the Mayfield board - Tush Nikollaj and Kevin Capobianco - and two members of the Northville board, President James Beirlein and Vice President Sheldon Ginter.

Fact Box

The Mayfield and Northville school boards have established a subcommittee to work on designing a contract for an interim superintendent the districts could share. The members of the subcommittee are:

Tush Nikollaj, Mayfield Board of Education member.

Kevin Capobianco, Mayfield board member.

James Beirlein, Northville Board of Education president.

Sheldon Gitner, vice president of the Northville board.

Suits said a lot of work still needs to be done.

"There's really nothing set in stone," Suits said.

Suits said the board hopes to have an interim superintendent by June. He said he hopes the districts will have a contract set and established by early May.

"There's really no set date," Suits said. "...But that is what I am personally shooting for."

Mayfield Board of Education President Ernie Clapper said both boards passed a resolution allowing the districts to share the cost of the shared interim superintendent.

Clapper said he could not say when the contract will be finished.

"I know we are eager to get going," Clapper said.

Hamilton-Fulton-Montgomery Board of Cooperative Educational Services Director Patrick Michel met with the boards before the executive session, explaining how some districts that merged handled the process.

Michel said both boards would need to decide how the interim superintendent would be paid, how his or her time would be divided, the salary for the position and other details.

Michel said a key point would be establishing in the contract what the districts expected from their superintendent.

"I really do believe that, like better neighbors are neighbors with fences, that better agreements are made in writing," Michel said.

A straw poll for the merger of the two districts is planned for May.

Northville voters rejected the merger nine months ago in a nonbinding referendum.

The new straw poll, if approved, would be a step toward a merger.

Michel said if the shared superintendent position is dependent on a merger being approved by voters, the contract should explain what happens if the merger fails.

"Basically, I don't believe either district would want to leave the other in a lurch," Michel said.

The two districts also may share another administrative post: head of the Committee on Special Education.



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