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Board Offers Rochester Schools Job to Albion Superintendent Clarke

He was chosen from among three finalists to replace retiring Superintendent David Pruneau.

In a unanimous vote, Rochester Board of Education members chose Frederick Clarke, superintendent of Albion Schools, as the next leader of

"I found him to be articulate, to have a depth of knowledge and to be very well-prepared," said board member Marty Sibert, who led the committee to find a new superintendent to replace .

"He always spoke in a positive manner," Sibert said. "I certainly found him to have a vision."

Clarke with board members before their decision Friday night; he was the third and final candidate interviewed this week.

Board members commended Clarke's background in technology, his ability to think "out of the box" and his commitment to being involved with the community outside of the school. They described him as intellectual and inspirational — one who would take the district from "great to greatest," as he mentioned in his interview Friday.

"He had meat behind the vision and some demonstrable examples. ... He saw the challenges as opportunities," said board member Gerald Moore.

Board member Chuck Coutteau called Clarke a collaborative, participating leader. "He was zeroing in on the right things," Coutteau said. "He has experience with being creative with less funding."

Board members planned to call Clarke to offer him the position following Friday night's meeting. They will then begin to negotiate his salary.

Clarke was a high school science teacher and an assistant high school principal before he moved into administration. While leader of Albion Schools, Clarke implemented all-day kindergarten, which Rochester is debating now.

Clarke is enrolled in the doctoral program at Western Michigan University. He holds a master's degree in education, curriculum and instruction from the University of Houston and a Bachelor of Science degree from the University of Michigan. (Clarke's resume is attached to this story.)

After board members announced their decision, Doug Hill, president of the Rochester Education Association, said he congratulated Clarke and looks forward to working and collaborating with him.

Lynette Teller, a media teacher who attended the board interviews, called the process interesting and informative. "Unfortunately, I wish more stakeholders were able to take time to join in the process," she said.

Kristin Bull March 29, 2011 at 08:48 PM
Hi, Susan. Originally the Board of Education DID have a meeting planned for Monday night for the purpose of discussing and voting on a superintendent choice. However, they also had always intended to discuss the candidates on Friday night after the final interview. Because their choice was unanimous, they had little discussion on Friday night. After the choice was made, they canceled the Monday night meeting.
Mike Reno March 29, 2011 at 09:51 PM
But always remember that the board welcomes input from the public! :-o
Mike Reno March 29, 2011 at 10:11 PM
This just in from Bloomfield: "The funding gap could be partially resolved with $2.2 million in cuts that include a 5% wage reduction from his current $180,000 salary for Supt. Rob Glass. " If the supt of Bloomfield can squeak by on $171K... with substantially higher per-pupil funding... you'd think we could in Rochester. Maybe $150K base, with another $20-$30K in potential bonus based on achieving objectives?
Rod Macleod March 31, 2011 at 03:47 PM
In reading over the previous comments as to his lack of experience, and that "He always spoke in a positive manner," as well as "The people in Albion liked him" and "He wants to make sure all of our kids are successful." It appears that the board made a decision based on platitudes; a shining example of symbolism over substance. This is strangely reminiscent of the "hope & change" that has brought us a fiscal disaster on the national level. What it amounts to is that people have not done their homework, and there is always a price to pay for that...
Clara T April 03, 2011 at 07:15 PM
http://advisor-chronicle.com/albion-superintendent-clarke-takes-position-in-rochester-p491-1.htm "Albion Public Schools Superintendent Frederick Clarke accepted a position last week with Rochester Community Schools near Detroit. “We are negotiating the contract right now,” Clarke said on Tuesday. The Rochester School Board offered Clarke, who was one of three finalists, the position after voting unanimously at their board meeting on March 25." "With Rochester being the ninth largest school district in Michigan, Clarke said he is looking forward to applying his skills to a much larger district. Rochester has approximately 15,000 students in comparison to Albion’s 1,000." "Albion is facing a $2.5 million dollar deficit, but Clarke said their main efforts are to meet the needs of the students, which Clarke said is difficult to do with the cuts the state is giving. In the 2009-2010 academic year, Albion was listed in the bottom five academically in Michigan. Since then, the school has been working on a transformation model with strategies to increase effectiveness to improve the Albion schools. Albion High School currently faces three challenges: academic achievement, financing and pupil enrollment."

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