After conducting a nation-wide search, DPSCD Board of Education narrowed its search for superintendent down to three potential finalists during a Special Board Meeting.
“As a school board, our focus and our goal is always to do what is best for the children. This is our primary consideration in everything we do, and is also at the forefront of our thinking during this process.” said Board President, Iris Taylor.
The district retained Ray and Associates for the search in late January, followed by extensive community engagement that included surveys and focus groups. The highly competitive process attracted 75 applicants from around the country.
The search firm narrowed the applicants down to the 10 most highly qualified candidates and delivered those applications to the board on Thursday. The board reviewed the application packages, including videos in closed session without discussing the merits of each candidate in compliance with the Open Meetings Act. Board members were then given an individual number for anonymity and each member scored the applicants individually and submitted their score cards to the search firm. The firm then tallied the scores of applicants and gave each applicant a number prior to going into open session, so that names could remain confidential.
In open session, the board discussed the applicants, by number only, and further narrowed the selection down to three potential finalists. Those individuals are as follows:
Nikolai Vitti, superintendent of Duval County Public Schools.
Derrick R. Coleman, superintendent of the River Rouge district.
Orlando Ramos, regional superintendent for Milwaukee Public Schools.
Although DPSCD’s Interim Superintendent Alycia Meriweather was not named in the current round of potential finalists, the board would like to acknowledge her contributions during the past 12 months. “We have high regard and a great appreciation for Alycia’s efforts in moving the district forward. We are pleased that she will continue in her role through the end of the school year and we look forward to working with her in future endeavors.” said Taylor.
Meriweather’s existing contract under the previous administration is set to expire on June 30 according to PA192. The board reaffirmed the contract on March 14 to assure compliance with the law.
Next Steps in the Superintendent Search Process
Potential finalists will be given a rigorous interview schedule in the upcoming weeks. Interviews will be open to the public and will engage all DPSCD stakeholders including, but not limited to DPSCD staff, business leaders, elected officials and community residents.
“We are pleased to continue the vetting process of selecting a permanent superintendent to lead our district,” said Taylor. “The board will exercise due diligence to assure that the best candidate is chosen.”