The search for a superintendent comes to Loy Norrix


Photo by: FOX17

Foster Neve-Jones, Assistant Web Editor and Knights Speak

After Superintendent Raichoudri’s resignation from the Kalamazoo Public Schools Administration, the search for a new superintendent immediately begins

Ray and Associates, a firm experienced in recruitment for school districts, was hired to help KPS find a new superintendent. As MLive reported, the school board voted to hire Ray and Associates on Feb. 20.

Ray and Associates came to Loy Norrix High School on Wednesday, March 15, to ask students what they want to see in a new superintendent.

Kathy Schoenfelder from Ray and Associates asked around 50 students questions about the qualities important in a superintendent. These same questions were also presented to other groups ,including parents during other feedback sessions.

Q: What do you consider as significant strengths of the school district?

Many students mentioned that they valued access to technology, such as Chromebooks and hot spots that are available for students. Other students mentioned such strengths as the Kalamazoo Promise, diversity in students, opportunities to experience college through Dual Enrollment and MICareer, access to transportation through the school issued city bus passes, as well as diversity in classes and clubs.

Q: What do you feel are the positives of the community/communities that need to be shared with candidates as they consider becoming your next superintendent?

Students particularly highlighted community diversity, access to public community resources, youth programs, and the artistic community in Kalamazoo.

Q: What are your two or three top leadership qualities and management styles you would like to see in the new superintendent?

Answers included accountability, transparency, interactiveness with the community, ability to listen to input, particularly student opinions, and financial support of important parts of the school. Other answers included creativity and flexibility, a focus on school safety, adaptability, amplification of minority voices, and familiarity with the district.

Q: What are the two or three most critical issues the new superintendent will face in this position?

Students responded with issues like the district’s lack of sufficient funding, building upkeep, lack of parent involvement within the school district, transparency within the school board, the continuing staffing shortage, and a lack of opportunity to pursue alternate post-secondary options outside of college.

Other forums were conducted over March 14-16 and included sessions in numerous schools, as well as local churches and virtually, allowing community members to speak on what they want to see in a new superintendent.

“Our past superintendents haven’t been very active in what students need and want,” said senior Nadia Abbott, “so I think it’s good that the students are able to be a part of that.”

According to Fox17, Dale Caldwell of Ray and Associates hopes to identify a candidate in May.