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Dundee superintendent search is down to 2 candidates

Special meeting scheduled today by board

DUNDEE, Mich. -- The search for a superintendent of Dundee Community Schools is down to two finalists, and the decision could be made as early as Wednesday.

The board of education has conducted second interviews with administrators of two Michigan schools who were among seven being considered for the job.

Michael Dodge, superintendent of Standish-Sterling Community Schools near Bay City, and Storm Lairson, superintendent of Reese Public Schools near Saginaw, made the final cut.

The school board is using services of the Monroe County Intermediate School District and Michigan Leadership Institute to assist in the search to replace interim Superintendent Maury Geiger, who is leaving the district in June to take the same position at Saranac Community Schools.

Betsy Taylor, assistant superintendent of human resources for the intermediate school district, said the board could take a vote on hiring a superintendent Wednesday when a special meeting is scheduled.

"They plan to make a decision unless things don't work out," she said.

The search committee -- three board members and four staff members -- traveled this week to the two candidates' school districts for additional research.

Ms. Taylor said the school board decided on interviews with seven applicants for the job -- all currently administrators at Michigan schools -- but two of those withdrew after getting offers from other school districts.

Also interviewed by the board in early May were Bruce Clapp, principal of Sterling Elementary in Airport Schools, Mark Moody, director of the Midland County Education Service Agency which provides support to four school districts and three charter schools, and Karl Heidrich, who has been principal at Stockbridge Community School, north of Ann Arbor, since 2000.

Ms. Taylor said Mr. Dodge and Ms. Lairson were asked by board members to return for second interviews that were held May 10 and May 11, respectively.

Mr. Geiger took over in August for Bruce Nelson, who left Dundee Schools to take the superintendent's job in Caro Community Schools near Saginaw.

Mr. Geiger, who was the fifth person to lead the district in the last seven year, was at Saranac Schools for 11 years as assistant principal and special education director prior to coming to Dundee. He arrived in Dundee five years ago to become elementary principal.

"I think I have learned a lot here. I worked with a lot of people," he said. "The biggest accomplishment has been improving student achievement on test scores and programs and services for students."

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