By A. J. Goldsmith
After an intensive recruitment and interviewing process, board members of Lake Forest School District 67 and Lake Forest High School District 115 on Monday announced a replacement for retiring Superintendent Harry Griffith.
All 14 board members agreed on the selection of Michigan educator Michael Simeck who has 10 years of experience as a superintendent of schools in two Michigan communities. Simeck will assume his post on July
1. The term is three years.
There was not universal agreeement on the terms of his contract.
Both districts will share the salary and expenses of the new superintendent. However the actual contract is in the name of District 67 with an attached Intergovernmental Shared Services Agreement approved by the District 115 board.
Simeck’s annual salary will be $220,000. The agreement calls for a $500 a month car allowance, a $30,000 annual contribution to Teachers’ Retirement System and a $750,000 life insurance policy. The districts will also share the $15,000 moving allowance.
Voting against the contract were two members of the District 67 board, Bill Anderson and Laurie Rose, and two members of the District 115 board, Dick Block and Todd Burgener.
Board Member Dick Block said: ‘It’s all carrot and no stick.” He also said he did not like the negotiating process.
The four members who voted against the contract expressed feelings that there wasn’t enough accountability built into the agreement.
Burgener called the contract “archaic” and said that it was not appropriate for one of the highest compensated officials in the state.
Nicki Snoblin took issue with the term “archaic” saying “this is not a business.”
Both Michael Simeck and his wife, Mari, are Fulbright scholars. The Simecks have three children, two will be attending Lake Forest High School in the fall and one will be in District 67.
The new superintendent holds B.A. and M.A. degrees from Eastern Michigan University and is completing a PhD in educational administration at Michigan State University.
Click here to read the District 115 and 67 press release on the new superintendent.
The following is the press release issued on Tuesday morning by the administration office of Lake Forest School District 67 and 115:
Lake Forest High School District 115 and Lake Forest Elementary School District 67 are pleased to announce the selection of Michael Simeck as Superintendent of Schools for both school districts, effective July 1, 2012. Mr. Simeck was selected using a collaborative interviewing process involving parents, teachers, staff, administration, community and school board members representing both districts.
Final candidates for the Superintendent position were identified from a group of 100 individuals. The two school district Boards of Education interviewed six candidates and four finalists were presented to staff and community representatives.
Michael Simeck received a B. A. from Eastern Michigan University, a M.A. in Educational Leadership from Eastern Michigan University and is completing a Ph.D. in Educational Administration at Michigan State University. Mr. Simeck currently serves as the Superintendent of Schools for the Berkley K-12 School District in Oak Park, Michigan (2007-present) and previously served as Superintendent of Schools in Dansville, Michigan (2003-2007).
Lake Forest High School Board of Education President Sharon Golan comments, “The collaborative process works. During an extensive interview process, involving over 50 staff, parents and community members, we were able to identify a new superintendent who reflects important characteristics defined by all. We look forward to welcoming Michael to our school community.”
Mr. Simeck has demonstrated his belief that the superintendent should be the learning leader of the school. He was selected to participate in the Fulbright Administrative Exchange in Peterborough, England, served as a Fulbright English Assistant, was awarded a Goethe Institute Scholarship and grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities.
“We are pleased to present to our school communities an experienced leader who will serve within the current shared services model. Michael’s commitment to being a reflective leader will serve our communities well and the continuation of shared services will ensure the educational and financial benefits to our constituents,” states Julia Wold, District 67 Board of Education President.
Michael Simeck comments, “I am very pleased and eager to become Superintendent of District 67 and Lake Forest High School. It is evident the communities support and value exemplary education. I look forward to working with all stakeholders to make Lake Forest Schools’ future even brighter.”
Mike and his wife Mari have three children, Gabrielle (Sophomore), Max (8th grade), and Lilia (4th grade). Mari is also a Fulbright Scholar and spent a full year in Paris as part of a Teacher Exchange Program.
The district will host receptions in the spring to offer the school community an opportunity to meet and welcome Mr. Simeck.