Dearborn begins search for new superintendent

Times-Herald Newspapers

DEARBORN — Dearborn Public Schools has started its search for a new superintendent to lead the district.

The school board made the first step on March 30 by selecting Michigan Leadership Institute as the firm to help with its search.

Board of Education members spent three hours interviewing MLI, Metropolitan Detroit Bureau of School Studies, Ray and Associates Inc. and Michigan Association of School Boards.

The board then voted unanimously to hire MLI to lead the search. MLI proposed a $12,000 base fee for its services.

MLI helped the district more than 10 years ago when they were selecting current Supt. Brian Whiston’s predecessor, John Artis.

The search comes after Whiston landed the State Board of Education superintendent position March 18.

Whiston was selected out of 54 applicants by a 7-1 vote from the State Board. He joined DPS in 2008.

MLI will gather input and information from various stakeholders, including parents, teachers and administration regarding what they want in a superintendent.

An MLI team will spend April 15 in the district getting input from 12 stakeholders. People unable to attend the meetings will be able to provide feedback through email.

“We are looking for unique points that would draw a candidate to Dearborn Public Schools and unique characteristics that make up a good superintendent,” MLI President and CEO Michael Wilmont said.

Once data is collected, the MLI team will present the information to the board and together create a profile with requirements for the position.

“There will be a five-week posting period for possible candidates to access,” Wilmont said. “We will screen the applicants and provide suggestions to the board.”

After suggestions are made, the board will interview applicants and select two candidates. Those two candidates will spend a day in the district and be interviewed by the board again.

Lastly, board members will spend time in the districts of the finalists before making their decision.

“The hope is to have a new superintendent chosen by the end of June or sooner if possible,” Wilmont said.

(Zeinab Najm can be reached at