Trenton Superintendent Search Ends
The search for a new superintendent of Trenton Public Schools ended late Monday night.
After five hours of interviewing and discussion Trenton Board of Education members voted unanimously to select Rodney Wakeham, assistant principal at Trenton High School, as superintendent of Trenton Public Schools Monday night.
The decision came after an 18-month selection process in which three district administrators participated in an internship under interim Superintendent Larry Leapley.
The interns, Wakeham, Stephanie O'Connor, principal at Arthurs Middle School and Vince Porreca, principal at Hedke Elementary School, fielded a list of identical questions during a special meeting at the Trenton Board of Education building.
Board President Mike Hawkins said each candidate was capable of successfully performing the task of superintendent, but in the end Wakeham was selected for the position.
"We learned more about these three individuals and even more about the district ... by them delving into things and researching things," Hawkins said. "It helped us tremendously and hopefully it helped them, too."
Hawkins said the financial state of the public school system lead him to cast his vote for Wakeham.
"I think, after the interviews and watching him in some of the presentations, the analytical mind he has, his problem solving mind and his focus on budgetary issues ... is going to be something that we can rely on."
Wakeham said he was confident after his interview.
"I wouldn't have gone through a year-and-a-half of doing the extra work if I didn't think A) I could do a quality job and B) I didn't want to be the superintendent," Wakeham said.
The candidates had about an hour to answer several questions. They were interviewed individually at the public meeting.
Wakeham graduated from Michigan Technological University, he did his continuing education at Northern Michigan University and got his master's degree from Concordia University.
He came to Trenton Public Schools in 1995 as a classroom teacher, spent 14 years as the science department chairman and was the assistant principal at Trenton High School for the past two years.
Interim Superintendent Larry Leapley said he thought the (internship) process worked well.
"I think all three of them could have been a good superintendent and the board selected the direction they wanted to go into," Leapley said.
Wakeham is expected to take over as superintendent on June 29.