Superintendent candidates set for second interviews

Sunday Times Newspapers

TAYLOR – After last week’s interviews with six candidates to replace retiring Taylor School District Supt. Diane Allen, the district’s board of education will tomorrow conduct public interviews with three finalists for the position.

School Board President John Reilly said the board was impressed with the initial six candidates, who were subjected to hour-long public interviews on Jan. 18 and 19. Questions were framed in consultation with state education experts, and board members quizzed candidates on decision making, visions of technology, communication and management issues.

Beginning at 6:30 p.m. Jan. 25, the board will hold hour-long interviews with the following finalists:
• Ben Williams, who has served as superintendent of Central Lake Schools since 2012, and had been principal of Saline High School for four years, among other posts.
• Doni St. Amour, who served as superintendent at Clare Schools for four years and has served as principal, assistant principal and teacher during a lengthy career.
• Mary Ann Cyr, who served for more than a decade as principal with Monroe Public Schools.
The board last week had also interviewed former Charlotte Schools Supt. Nancy Hipskind; Fred Clark, an administrator from Illinois; and Dundee Schools Supt. Michael Dodge.
Reilly said panelists were confident going into the interviews, and the six first-round finalists were selected from more than two dozen applications.
Last year the board questioned three candidates after Allen announced her plans to retire in June 2015, but failed to reach a consensus for offering the position. In December the board met with Michigan Association of School Boards consultant Rodney Green, who provided guidance for interviews and will be on hand for the Jan. 25 sessions.

The board expects to make an offer by February for a new superintendent to begin no later than July 1. Allen agreed to remain in office until June 30 at the latest, with plans for a transition period before the academic year ends.

Candidate interviews will be held at the district offices, 23033 North Line Road. For information on the search for a new superintendent and anticipated timetable, go to

(James Mitchell can be reached at