TEMPERANCE - Bedford Public Schools officials have tapped an educator with 17 years of teaching and administrative experience in Michigan schools to take over the duties of assistant superintendent of instruction and student services.
The hiring of Jonathan Whan was unanimously approved by the Board of Education at last week's meeting.
Mr. Whan, 41, who is principal of Godwin Heights High School in Wyoming, Mich., will replace Debby Kuhl, who is retiring after 36 years with the district.
He will begin working for the district July 1 and be paid $100,079 annually, the same salary earned by Mrs. Kuhl.
The school district received 20 applications for the job. A 12-member selection committee headed by Superintendent Ted Magrum narrowed the list to six finalists.
One candidate withdrew from consideration, leaving five finalists who were interviewed by the committee, which included teachers and administrators.
Mr. Magrum said the committee was impressed with Mr. Whan's extensive administrative experience and organizational skills.
"He was the top choice," Mr. Magrum said. "He will be a good fit with Bedford Public Schools."
Mr. Whan, who holds a bachelor of science in education and masters of arts in educational administration degrees from Central Michigan University, applied last year for superintendent of Bedford Schools.
He was among six candidates who did face-to-face interviews with board members.
Mr. Whan, who also has a specialist of arts education administration degree from Saginaw Valley State University, said he and his wife will move to the township to enroll their children, ages 9 and 11, in the school district.
"I am very excited. Bedford Township is a great place to work and a great place to raise a family," he said.
He has been principal of 550-student Godwin Heights High School since 2003. He was assistant principal at Bay City Central High School from 1999 to 2003 and assistant principal and athletic director at Central Montcalm High School in Stanton, Mich., for one year.
He began his teaching career at Atherton High School in Burton, Mich., where he was a teacher and coach from 1993 to 1998.
Mr. Whan also has been a finalist for a superintendent opening in other Michigan school districts, including runner-up for superintendent of Coldwater Community Schools.
He was finalist in 2008 for superintendent of Ravenna Public Schools in Ravenna, Mich. He lost a 4-3 board vote for Laingsburg Community Schools in Laingsburg, Mich.
Mr. Whan said he withdrew from the running for superintendent of Southlake Schools in Michigan after he was offered the assistant superintendent's position in Bedford Schools.
"We just felt it was a better fit for our family. I think it will also offer better opportunities to grow as a central office administrator," he said.