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Wendi's Word

Wendi's Word A column by Wendi Reardon

Change I can believe in

September 01, 2010 - I sat through the Board of Education interviews last week with their six candidates, listening to the answers, watching how the candidates interacted with the board and the public.

I left the building with two that, in my mind, would be good for the district and the community. But I thought my selections were a long shot. Well, until Wednesday night, when the board shared their thoughts and concerns about each candidate.

Richard Dunham, from Michigan Association of School Boards leading the board through the process, reminded trustees at the beginning of the meeting the six candidates stood out because they matched what the board AND the community wanted in a superintendent.

Would they keep it in mind?

It was when Trustee Elizabeth Egan commented during the night, "the community has benn communicating we need something different and we need to listen," I knew there was a change coming for the district.

So they chose Dr. Rod Rock, director of instructional services for Saginaw Intermediate School District, and Dr. Gary Richards, superintendent of Imlay City Community Schools – the two I had in my mind as the top two choices.

I was on the same page with the board – both have their strengths and their weaknesses. Mostly experience.

But they are both in it for the students, which Richards said near the end of his interview – he would continue to do the same thing, no matter if it is for Clarkston, Imlay City, or another district.

I know someone who completed her student teaching at Imlay City. Though she didn't know him personally, she said his reputation was stern and thoughtful, and teachers and building principals were always in a good mood. "A reflection of the superintendent," she added.

As for Rock, where his experience lacks – his ideas soar. He worked on the Project reImagine grant and probably has fresh ideas to help the students and the district for the unknown future.

Clarkston's future is so bright – the students will have to wear shades in class.

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.
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