Heights D7 narrows superintendent candidates to final two

By ZEINAB NAJM
Times-Herald Newspapers

HEIGHTS — The Dearborn Heights District 7 Board of Education selected Jennifer Mast and Dania Bazzi as its finalists for superintendent.

Mast has served as the district’s interim superintendent since April 1 and will continue to do so until June 30. She was unanimously selected by the board during a meeting on March 7.

The superintendent position became available after former Supt. John Frazer resigned in September. Jeffery Bartold was brought in by the district to serve as interim superintendent until Mast was hired.

Mast currently works as a teacher at O.W. Best Middle School where she also worked from 1998 to 2002. She then served as assistant principal at O.W. Best and four years as principal at Bedford Elementary School.

The candidate she faces for the permeant position — Bazzi — is current Galesburg-Augusta Community Schools superintendent.

She has been superintendent at the district since 2014. Bazzi worked as Hamilton Community Schools director of teaching and learning prior to her superintendent role.

Overall, 24 people applied for the position, and eight were chosen for up to 90-minute first round interviews which were conducted from April 17 to 22.

The six other candidates besides Bazzi and Mast were Deputy Superintendent of Human Resources for the Detroit Public Schools Community District James Baker, Plymouth-Canton Schools Assistant Supt. for Teaching & Learning, Kay Elaster, Saranac Community Schools Supt. Richard Geiger, East Detroit Public Schools Turnaround Principal Greg Roberts, East Lansing Public Schools Supt. Robyne Thompson and Monroe Jefferson Schools High School Principal David Vensel.

Mast and Bazzi were then selected for a second round of interviews at Polk Elementary School on April 25 and 26, respectively.

A final decision is scheduled to be made during a special board meeting May 9. Before that, a subcommittee made up of three board members will conduct a visit to each of the candidate’s place of employment.

Each visit will have a meeting with groups of stakeholders including teachers, community members and students.

(Zeinab Najm can be reached at zeinabnajm92@gmail.com.)