Rochester Board of Education Selects Shaner as New Superintendent
In a unanimous decision Thursday evening, the board chose Dr. Robert Shaner to fill the district's top position.
A decision was finally reached Thursday evening in selecting a new superintendent for Rochester Community Schools.
During a special meeting held by the Rochester Board of Education, Dr. Robert Shaner was chosen to fill the role.
Shaner, current director of instruction and technology for Warren Consolidated Schools, was the only candidate up for the position after David Richards, superintendent of Fraser Public Schools, withdrew his name from consideration on Wednesday.
The search has been underway to find a replacement for former Superintendent Fred Clarke, who resigned in September. According to school board President Beth Talbert, 26 individuals applied for the superintendent job posting last fall. The competition was narrowed down to four applicants by board members in December. After a round of interviews, the board then selected two candidates, Shaner and Richards, to move forward.
"This is the most important decision we make on our board," said Talbert, who called the job search a "lengthy and intensive process" which included several rounds of interviews and visiting candidates in their home school districts.
The board voted 7-0 Thursday to offer Shaner the position and thus, enter into negotiation contracts.
"He has the skills and collaborative personality that would serve us well in this district," said board member Chuck Coutteau. "If anyone understands kids... he does."
Shaner, a Shelby Township resident, has worked as the executive director of instruction and technology for the Warren Consolidated School District for the past two years. Previously, he served as principal of Sterling Heights High School. He has also worked as an assistant middle school principal and high school teacher.
A few of the board members, like Vice President Lisa Nowak, cited Shaner's diverse work background, which includes a three-year position as juvenile detective for the Troy Police Department, as a positive attribute which will bring a fresh perspective and new ideas to Rochester Community Schools.
According to Talbert, nearly 45 of Shaner's colleagues, friends and family were interviewed as the board hoped to paint a clear picture of him. Reference checks were conducted with over 20 individuals.
Board member Michael Zabat also admitted to doing intensive research of his own on Shaner.
"I tried to find something that I didn't like and I failed," said Zabat. He went on to describe Shaner as "authentic, genuine and honest".
Various teachers, faculty members and parents present at the meeting applauded the board's decision and dedication to the search.
Shaner was not present at the meeting but board members will notify him and begin the contract negotiation process. Currently, Tresa Zumsteg is serving as the district's interim superintendent.
"He will be the advocate for education that we so desperately have to have," board member Jennifer Berwick said. "I believe that Dr. Shaner has that heart of a superintendent."