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June 7, 2014

Soma could lead TCAPS through 2014-15

TRAVERSE CITY — Traverse City Area Public Schools board members will consider a host of substantial changes on the district’s horizon during a board meeting Monday.

Agenda item No. 1: Choosing who will lead TCAPS during the 2014-15 school year.

Board of Education President Kelly Hall said she wants to discuss appointing Paul Soma, associate superintendent of finance and operations, as the district’s interim superintendent through the end of next year.

“I want Paul to have a mandate to get things done during his interim status, and if he’s basically just a month-to-month superintendent he doesn’t have that practical authority to pursue achievement of the district’s strategic plan,” Hall said.

Soma was appointed as interim superintendent in May. He said he’s interested in a year-long interim appointment.

“We have a fantastic school system and I want to promote that narrative in the year they might appoint me for,” he said.

Board member Gary Appel said he favors extending the interim appointment and delaying the permanent replacement search, given the TCAPS board could undergo major changes with five seats open in the November election.

“I think it makes sense to let whoever is seated on the next board after the election really drive the search process,” he said.

School board members during Monday’s meeting also will consider appointing Todd Sanders,

a retired Marine Corps officer and small business owner, to fill a vacant board seat created by the resignation of Vice President Julie Puckett last month.

Sanders applied to fill the board’s last vacancy in January. He’s the the only candidate board members plan to interview Monday, but Hall said officials could schedule additional interviews if they want to reopen the search.

Sanders and Doris Ellery, the candidate selected to fill the January board vacancy, will need to run in the November elections to retain interim board seats.

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