The Portage School Board has identified the candidate they want to interview as they search for a new superintendent. Greg Gray is currently the superintendent of the Brighton Area School District.
WMUK's Gordon Evans spoke with Mlive-Kalamazoo education reporter Julie Mack about Gray, why Portage focused on one finalist and what happens next.
Mack says Gray is 41 years old, but has been a superintendent for the last seven years, in the Owosso and Brighton districts. She says Gray gets credit in Brighton for getting their budget into balance and still adding education programs. Mack says Brighton is a district similar in size and makeup to Portage.
Portage is searching for a superintendent because Ric Perry resigned in January after his affair with the district's human resources director became known to the public. Mack says Gray appears on paper to be a strong candidate, but she says the focus on one finalist is likely in part because of the rest of the field. Mack says five finalists were considered, including Gray, one of those dropped out. She says the other three candidates all had strikes against them. Two of them are currently superintendents in smaller districts, the other is an assistant superintendent and the board wanted someone with experience running a district about the size of Portage.
School board members acknowledge there is a risk in identifying only one finalist. Mack says if the hire of Gray doesn't work out, it could mean that the district is starting from scratch and will have to search for new candidates. Mack says while school board members say there is no guarantee that they will hire Gray, there does not appear to be a "plan B" at this point.
Mack says there will be several public interviews planned with Gray, and she says there will also be a site visit to Brighton by some members of the school board.