Traverse City Record-Eagle

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April 30, 2014

Suttons Bay narrows search

TRAVERSE CITY -- Members of the Suttons Bay Public Schools Board of Education have narrowed the pool of superintendent candidates to six.

Thirty-three people applied to replace Michael Murray, who is retiring at the end of the school year after more than seven years as the district’s top administrator. Board members hope to have a new superintendent in place by the end of May.

The six candidates all are from Michigan. They are:

n Raphael Rittenhouse, Suttons Bay Public Schools principal.

n Coby Fletcher, Battle Creek Central High School principal.

n Ronald Huffman, Bath Community Schools superintendent.

n Maryann Boddy, Iron Mountain Middle School and High School principal.

n Gary Goren, Director of General Education and Technology at Alpena-Montmorency-Alcona Education Service District.

n Chris Nelson, Director of Technology and Operations at Harbor Springs Public Schools.

School board president David Buffum said the board is looking for someone with an entrepreneurial spirit who can keep the district moving forward.

“We’re looking for somebody who wants to be part of our community, someone who can fill the dual role of doing some principal work but also be a top notch superintendent,” Buffum said.

He also said many students take online classes, and the new administrator has to be able to support that model.

The board hired Tom White, a consultant from the Michigan Association of School Boards, to help in the selection process. White said a strong pool of applicants is usually between 20 and 25, and he’s pleased with the interest the Suttons Bay position generated.

“We wanted to spread it far and wide,” White said. “We’re really pleased with the quality of candidates, and we can’t always say that.”

Board members will hold the first round of interviews May 5 and 6 and hope to narrow the pool down to two candidates for final interviews on May 12. The goal is to have an offer on the table by May 22.

All interviews are open to the public. They will be held on the second floor at Suttons Bay Elementary School beginning at 5:30 p.m.

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