Source: Sherman Publications

Goodrich School Board makes superintendent contract offer

by David Fleet

May 23, 2012

Scott Bogner starts his work day as a crossing guard.

“The school district had some budget cuts—so I stepped in and took over as crossing guard,” said Bogner. “They told me I’d not last one year at the job. That was three years ago. I know the students by name—I hear all kinds of stories.”

Bogner’s interactive style, which also includes riding every bus route in the Grant School District and joining students regularly in the cafeteria for lunch, will soon be part of the Goodrich School District.

Late Wednesday night, by a 7-0 vote, the school board agreed to offer a contract to Bogner, superintendent of Grant School District for the past six years. Trustee David Cramer will negotiate the financial aspects of the deal.

“I’m out there in the district and community—in the classrooms and buildings,” said Bogner. “If I’m out there and some thing begins to stew—I’m right there to deal with it.”

The board of education voted last month to retain the services of the Michigan Leadership Institute to coordinate the search for a district superintendent following the resignation of John Fazer on March 26. Fazer had been superintendent since May 2009 and will remain until June 30. Since his resignation, 31 candidates have applied for the position and were narrowed down to five during a closed session school board meeting earlier this month. The board selected the Michigan Leadership Institute at a cost of $6,700.

“My 80-year-old father lives about 50 minutes from Goodrich,” said Bogner. “That’s why I’m making this move (to Goodrich). It’s my time to give back to him.”

Bogner had served as Grant superintendent since 2006 after working as principal at Evart High School for about nine years. For ten years Bogner was the Assistant Principal/Athletic Director at Marion Public Schools. His education includes a bachelor’s degree in accounting from the University of Michigan-Dearborn and a master’s degree in educational leadership from Central Michigan University. Bogner has taken classes in management from Colorado Technical University.

“I’ve coached baseball, football and basketball,” said Bogner. “That’s how I put myself through college— by coaching. I’m proud of the fact I paid my own way through college. I would show up at U of M with rolls of quarters to pay my tuition sometimes.”

Grant is located in Newaygo County, about 25 miles north of Grand Rapids. The school district has an enrollment of about 2,100 students, roughly the same size as the Goodrich School District. Similarly, the budget is about $18 million.

On Tuesday eight individuals from the district, which included principals, secretaries and school board members, traveled to the Grant School District to interview teachers, business owners and others in the community regarding Bogner. A total of 24 community members were interviewed.

“I understand Scott heard that a student was being bullied on a school bus,” said Doug Tetmeyer, school board secretary who was part of the team who visited Grant. “So he jumped on the bus and rode along with the students to resolve it.”

Beth Zito, Reid Elementary School principal, was also one of the eight that made the trek to Grant.

“He has a clear understanding of education and will bring a sense of clarity to Goodrich,” she said. “We will be led by a powerful leader.”

During his tenure as superintendent, Bogner hosted community forums to air district issues and is adamant that education should have nothing to do with politics.

“There needs to be local control of our schools,” he said. “Lansing needs to stay out. We are not going to make decisions about adults—class size is about the students, not us. Education is a tough job.”

The board had targeted June 15 to have a replacement—overlapping the position by two weeks. The time is necessary, say school board members, to help with the transition process.