October 20, 2014

Two finalists selected for SSCS superintendent position ready for interviews

By James Kuch
News Editor | news@arenacindependent.com
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STANDISH — The list of candidates for the Standish-Sterling Community School District superintendent position has been narrowed down to two finalists.

Pinconning Superintendent Darren Kroczaleski and Capac Community Schools Superintendent Jerry Jannex were unanimously selected as the finalists for the position from four candidates interviewed Aug. 16 and 17.

Jannex will interview at 7 p.m. on Tuesday Aug. 23 at the newly renovated community center building located next to Standish-Sterling Middle School. Kroczaleski’s interview will follow at approximately 8:15 p.m.

Acting Superintendent Michael Dewey said the community is welcome to attend the interview and will have the opportunity to ask the candidates questions.

“Questions will be written on note cards and screened by myself, just to be sure that the questions are legal to be answered,” Dewey said.

Following the interviews on Aug. 23 the board of education will hold a special meeting on Thursday, Aug. 25 at approximately 7:30 a.m. to discuss the next step in its interview process, according to Dewey.

“At that time the board will discuss if they want to do a site visit at the finalists’ school districts, or they may select their superintendent,” he said. “It all depends on what the board wants to do.”

Dewey said he believes the board chose Kroczaleski and Jannex as finalists because of their experience as superintendents.

“Darren (Kroczaleski) has been a superintendent in Pinconning for nine years and Jerry (Jannex) has been a superintendent in the state of Michigan for 15 years,” he said. “They are also both currently working as superintendents. I think they just outshined the other candidates.”

Jannex said he is looking forward to the opportunity to be interviewed as a finalist.

“I have heard some really good things about this district,” he said. “I am humbled and excited about the opportunity I have.”

Jannex said he was born in Michigan and graduated from Jackson Northwest High School. From there he received degrees from Cornerstone University in Grand Rapids, Calvin College in Grand Rapids, Long Beach State University in California, Montana State University Northern and Montana State University Bozeman.

He has taught at schools in California, Montana and Michigan, and was the superintendent at Frankfurt-Alberta Schools before becoming the superintendent at Capac Community Schools in 2004.

“I am entering my eighth year as superintendent at Capac,” he said. “The district is very similar in size to Standish-Sterling.”

Jannex said he could finish his career at Capac Community Schools but wanted to explore the challenges of working for SSCS.

“I am not a rich man, but I have lived a rich life,” he said. “I have worked at some great places, but if I were selected by the board for this position, I could see myself finishing my career here.”

Jannex said if he were selected he would work closely with the district’s administrative staff to learn as much as he could.

“I would listen as much as possible and learn about the district,” he said. “I would also come up with a 30, 60, 90 day plans with the administration and board.”

Kroczaleski, who is a 1983 graduate of Standish-Sterling Central High School, said he is staying calm about the whole interview process, adding that it has no effect on his current position with Pinconning Area Schools.

“I am excited for the opportunity,” he said. “Right now it is still just an interview and nothing has changed with my current position.”

Kroczaleski’s education includes degrees from Ferris State University, Central Michigan University and Saginaw Valley State University. His work experience includes teaching at SSCS, Bangor Township Schools, Gerrish-Higgins School District, Bendle/Carmon-Ainsworth Community Schools and Hale Area Schools.

Kroczaleski was the principal at Pinconning Middle School and Tawas Area High School before becoming the superintendent at Pinconning Area Schools in 2002.

Other candidates interviewed included, Brenda Wilson, the former superintendent of Gobles Public Schools and Eileen Grant-Bell, the former superintendent of Addison Community Schools. A fifth candidate, Richard Satterlee, the former superintendent of Hastings School District was scheduled to be interviewed Aug. 17, but declined to be interviewed after taking a superintendent position at the Alba School District, Dewey said.

Check back here Tuesday night for coverage following the interviews.

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