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Brandon superintendent candidates down to two



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February 26, 2014 - Brandon Twp.- And then there were two.

On Feb. 21, following the end of a week that featured four interviews with candidates for district superintendent, the school board unanimously selected two final candidates, Dr. Matthew Outlaw and Blake Prewitt.

"They are two very outstanding candidates, no question about that," said Board President Greg Allar. "The board is very happy with the work of Dr. (Mike) Wilmot, he brought us quite a list of potential candidates that we were able to whittle down to the final candidates right now. It seemed to be a consensus of the board members that these were the two candidates that evoked the most interest. They both are very dynamic."

A committee of seven, including administrators, teachers, and two school board members, will now conduct daylong site visits, on March 4 and March 6, to the district in which each candidate is currently employed, speaking with various stakeholders including teachers, administrators, parents and students.

Outlaw is currently the principal of South High School in the Grosse Pointe Public Schools. He has held that position since July 2011, and previously served for five years in Grosse Pointe as the assistant principal of North High School and before that, was assist principal and athletic director at South High School for three years. He began his career in the Novi Community Schools, as a civics teacher at Novi High School from 1996 to 2001, before being named the dean of students there, a position in which he served for two years before moving on to Grosse Pointe. Outlaw earned his doctorate degree in educational leadership from Wayne State University in 2009.

In his application to be the new Brandon superintendent, Outlaw wrote, "This position is one that fills gaps for me personally. It gives me the challenge that I am looking for professionally, it allows me to get back to my small town roots and it gives me the opportunity to serve a district on a larger scale... I feel that I have great strengths to offer as a curriculum leader, as a leader in human resources, as a budget director and as an agent for public relations... Those that know me best know that I am a person with great conviction, with a sense of purpose, with a caring heart and a strong ethical base. I feel that these characteristics have been foundational to the strong relationships that I have ben able to form with students, staff, colleagues and the community."

Prewitt has been the curriculum director for Armada Area Schools since July 2012. For one year prior to that, he was the principal of Saint Joseph Academy, a private high school in Cleveland, Ohio. Prewitt served as principal of West Bloomfield High School in the West Bloomfield School District for 10 years, from 2001 to 2011. He earned his education specialist degree from Oakland University in 2007, and has a master's degree in counseling from Eastern Michigan University and a bachelor's degree in musical education from the University of Dayton (1995).

"I have been impressed with Brandon School District's commitment to its students, families, and community over the years," wrote Prewitt in his application, continuing by citing his knowledge of the district in part due to his wife formerly working in the district as a social worker. "This commitment to each individual student, and to innovation, matches my philosophy of education. I am able to build community, raise achievement and be innovative while being fiscally responsible... A strong engaged community is central to any high functioning school district. As an education leader, I have engaged my teachers, administrators, parents, students, union leadership, local businesses and organizations, and political leaders."

The board will have a special meeting at 6:30 p.m., March 11, to select Outlaw or Prewitt as the next superintendent of Brandon, replacing Lorrie McMahon at the end of June. Dr. Mike Wilmot of the Michigan Leadership Institute, who led the superintendent search, will be available to mentor the new candidate, as well as answer questions and provide direction for the new superintendent for the next year.

Susan covers Brandon Township and Ortonville
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