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Superintendent contract on table

Board votes to offer Avondale HS principal top spot

June 25, 2014 - Goodrich- On Monday night the school board voted 7-0 to move into closed session and are now poised to offer Michelle Imbrunone, current Avondale High School principal, a contract as district superintendent.

In a special meeting on May 5, the school board voted 5-0 to retain the services of Michigan Leadership Institute to begin the search for a new superintendent following the resignation of Scott Bogner. Jeff Gardner, board vice-president, and Chip Schultz, treasurer were absent. Bogner had been district superintendent since June 2012 and had been in public education for more than 30 years. His last day will be June 30.

Tim Edwards, MLI regional president for east central Michigan, attended the meeting and coordinated the search efforts. The cost for the search will be $5,200.

On June 9 the school board of trustees voted in closed session to narrow the superintendent search down to four candidates. Imbrunone was selected from that group of candidates following two evenings of interviews.

"We don't have a contract yet, but we have spoken with Michelle and she is excited to work in Goodrich," said Chip Schultz, school board treasurer. "We are confident we can land a contract with her that will appeal to all parties. She is under contract until June 30 with Avondale after that we'll meet in early July."

On June 23, Schultz led a group of representatives from the school district to the Avondale School District in Auburn Hills where they met with 25 individuals in the district that have been associated with Imbrunone, including students, staff and the superintendent.

"The general consensus was that she will be a tremendous loss to the Avondale School District," said Schultz. "Several of those we interviewed indicated they would go with her to Goodrich if she gets the job. Michelle will be a great asset to the Goodrich School District."

"Two years ago Scott Bogner came to Goodrich to right the ship," he said. "Michelle will continue down that same path."

"Some were concerned about her lack of experience as a superintendent, but every one has to start somewhere," he added. "She has an energy about her, she will grow with the strong administration we have now at Goodrich to help her along the way. "

The Avondale School District enrolls about 3,800 students and is located in Auburn Hills, about 20 miles north of Detroit. Imbrunone had been assistant principal at Avondale since 2009, prior to being named high school principal in 2012. Avondale High School has an enrollment of about 1,100 students—in comparison, Goodrich High School has about 700 students. Prior to joining the Avondale School District, Imbrunone served as an intervention specialist teaching at-risk students at Fraser High School. She was a social studies teacher at Fraser High School from 1995 to 2009.

She currently earns $104,000 per year as Avondale High School principal. Scott Bogner was offered about $130,000 when he was hired as Goodrich superintendent in 2012.

Imbrunone earned a bachelor's degree in history from Wayne State University in 1992, a master's degree in education-principalship in 1999 from Saginaw Valley State University, and an education specialist degree in school administration also from Saginaw Valley State University. She is also working on a doctoral degree in organizational leadership/institutional leadership from Grand Canyon University, Arizona, with completion expected in 2015.

Tim Zirnhelt, board trustee, questioned how green Imbrunone is as she steps into the position of superintendent; however, he voted yes to offer a contract.

"Everybody has to get a shot at the big chair sometime," said Board President Dave Cramer.

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