Reschke's goal is a good transition
July 21, 2010 - When Al Roberts announced his retirement as superintendent this past May, David Reschke stepped up.
"The district has been good to me for 25 years," said Reschke, formerly deputy superintendent. "What is another 90 days I can give back in the transition?"
As interim superintendent, Reschke's job is to bridge the gap between Roberts and the new superintendent, to be selected by Clarkston Board of Education.
He has full responsibilities of the job, making sure everything is on schedule with grant reports, end of the year reports, and audits, while getting schools ready for students' return in September.
Reschke is also helping Shawn Ryan transition into the deputy superintendent role. His first priority is the same as any superintendent, he said.
"Making sure we are ready for school to start in the fall for all of the 8,200 kids and making it a positive experience," he said.
That means making sure all employees know what they are doing and are in the right place at the right time, he said.
His 90-day goals include making sure school operations run smoothly so the board can focus on selecting the new superintendent.
"I would like to keep the business of the school district moving efficiently and effectively for the next three months so they are not burdened with too many issues," he said.
Another priority is maintaining district standards – making sure classrooms are ready to go, including making sure all materials are in place, and schools are clean and safe. He is helping the new principals at Clarkston High School, Clarkston Junior High School and Pine Knob Elementary move into their roles as easily as possible.
"It is important to me to pay attention to the sites and make sure things are going well there," he said.
In the face of additional budget cuts, Reschke is confident.
"Clarkston is still a very successful and forward-thinking school district," he said. "Even though we cut the budget – we are a still vibrant and a good quality school district."
Reschke has lived in the community since 1979. Being a resident as well as working in the district gives him insight on what traits the next superintendent should have.
"A person with a vision for the future," he said, adding the superintendent needs to know the kind of environment and work the students could face, as well as the technology students and teachers will be using in the classroom.
Another trait is financial knowledge, especially funding locally and in the state of Michigan – how it works, good contacts in Lansing, and a 3-5 year vision.
Most importantly, the superintendent needs to be invested in the community.
"Schools are a big part of Clarkston," he said. "The superintendent needs to be open and sincere about liking Clarkston."
As part of the role, the superintendent needs to go events for performing arts, athletic teams and elementaries.
"Clarkston is a unified community and they need to be part of that," said Reschke. "The gift of the community is it's one place. We have disagreements but come together with one mind, the kids come first. I raised my children here. I would love to raise my grandchildren here."
He would also like to see the new superintendent willing to work with the Independence and Springfield township parks and recreation departments.
"It becomes a team effort because we only have so many resources to go around. Kids count on parks and rec year round, and the library is important for the township."
He is ready for retirement when his contract is up, Sept. 30.
"It's retirement time," he said. "I have two grandkids and family spread around the country. My wife has been retired for five years. She is ready to travel and do what retired people do."
He has thought about staying in education and lending his services as a part-time consultant, but is focused now on family and watching a few recitals as a grandfather.
Reschke plans to be more involved in SCAMP, Clarkston Foundation and Optimist Club, of which he is a founder.
"I am going to enjoy life," he said.
Wendi graduated from the University of Michigan-Flint with a degree in communications. She wrote for the Michigan Times college paper and Grand Blanc View before joining The Clarkston News in October 2007.