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Superintendent Candidate Withdraws Name

Robert Shaner, director of instruction and technology for Warren Consolidated Schools, is now the only candidate for the Rochester Community Schools superintendent position.

Updated 3:30 p.m.

David Richards, superintendent of Fraser Public Schools, withdrew his name from consideration for the Rochester Community Schools superintendent position, according to Debra Hartman, Rochester Schools communications director.

She said Richards did not give a reason for withdrawing his name.

That leaves Robert Shaner, director of instruction and technology for Warren Consolidated Schools, as the only candidate.

"The board is going to interview Dr. Shaner tonight at 5 p.m.," Hartman said. "Then they have a meeting scheduled for tomorrow night to vote whether to offer Dr. Shaner a contract."

Rochester Board of Education members picked Richards and Shaner as the finalists for the position two weeks ago. The search has been under way to find a replacement for former Superintendent Fred Clarke, who resigned in September.

Tonight, the candidate will be formally interviewed: Shaner's interview is scheduled for 5 to 6:45 p.m. At 7 p.m. tomorrow, board members will vote on entering into contract negotiations with the candidate.

All events are open to the public.

Here is more about the finalists.

Dr. Robert Shaner

  • Current position: Shaner has worked as executive director of instruction and technology for Warren Consolidated School District for the past two years. The district has an enrollment of 15,600 and a $160 million budget. In his position he is currently facilitating the installation, training and implementation of an $11 million districtwide technology upgrade. In 2010 he received a yearlong fellowship to study educational leadership in China and other countries.
  • Prior experience: Shaner previously was principal of Sterling Heights High School. He has also worked as an assistant middle school principal and high school teacher. From 1997 to 2000 he was a juvenile detective for the Troy Police Department.
  • Lives: In Shelby Township.
  • Education: Shaner earned a bachelor's degree from University of Detroit and advanced degrees from Central Michigan, Wayne State and Oakland University.
  • Leadership philosophy: "I believe that my strong sense of integrity, clarity of purpose and ability to build a team to accomplish a mission, begin to define me as a leader and educator," he stated.
  • About Shaner: "I consider Dr. Shaner an expert in the development of professional learning communities," said William Keane, in a reference letter. "His work in significantly raising the achievement levels in his high school when he was principal was, in no small part, due to his ability to engage the staff in a learning project in which all felt ownership."
  • Of note: This summer Shaner was one of two finalists for the Birmingham Schools Superintendent position.

In 2010 Shaner received a yearlong fellowship to study educational leadership abroad; board members said they appreciated this global experience.

They also appreciated his forthright and precise answers during his first interview; when asked about his views of virtual learning, Shaner said he believes in "brick and mortar schools with a teacher in the classroom."

To read Shaner's resume and application packet, visit the "Superintendent Search" area on the Rochester Community Schools home page.

Dr. David Richards (no longer a candidate)

  • Current position: Richards has been superintendent of Fraser Public Schools for the past two years. The district has an enrollment of 5,356 students and a $51 million budget. Under his leadership, the district developed and passed a $19.9 million technology bond proposal. One achievement he highlighted was the planning and development of a 1:1 iPad initiative in the district.
  • Prior experience: Richards was the principal of Fraser High School for five years, where he created and oversaw a coffee-shop-style meeting place for students to socialize and do homework after school. From 1995-2005, Richards was the director of educational technology and information systems for Rochester Schools. Before that, he was a teacher for Belding Area Schools.
  • Lives: In Clinton Township.
  • Education: Bachelor's degree from Central Michigan, advanced degrees from Grand Valley State University and Oakland University.
  • Leadership philosophy:  "My role as a leader is to identify and cultivate their skills in order for them to flourish and be successful," he stated.
  • About Richards: "Dr. Richards has a mindset that all problems CAN be solved and everybody has something good to offer," state Gerry Gauthier, president of the Fraser Public Schools Board of Education, in a letter of recommendation. "His positive demeanor is contagious."

Board members unanimously picked Richards as a finalist, noting his familiarity with Rochester and his "impressive education credentials," along with his vision and drive. They agreed with one of his philosophies: that "student engagement is key, and students have to own their own learning." 

To read Richards' resume and application packet, visit the "Superintendent Search" area on the Rochester Community Schools home page.

Cheryl Junker January 24, 2013 at 01:09 AM
Oh, by the way, I do seem to remember the unusual man and even ran into him at 7-11. (My life is like a screenplay)
Cheryl Junker January 24, 2013 at 02:38 PM
....or not as both seem to have expansive technical training and both were recruited by the same firm. Perhaps, there is a method to the madness.......create a little diversion so as to not spot the true Manchurian candidate. ( After all, Mike used his real name which is so rare these days........he wanted us ALL to know his dissappointment;0)
Cheryl Junker January 24, 2013 at 07:30 PM
Well said! Please encourage BOA to consider this! Thanks for your input!
Cheryl Junker January 24, 2013 at 07:42 PM
I would add that I am personally disappointed in the emphasis of technology based learning over'whole' child approach. Sounds like more testing and independent learning. I would appreciate bringing back Dr. Martin and comparing answers. Thanks again for sharing!
Cheryl Junker January 24, 2013 at 10:21 PM
Well said Janet! We don't want Mr. Shaner to win by default as he will undoubtedly feel the heat from the disenfranchised. That's no way to start a new job! Resentment is less than an empowering emotion! Lets give our district a fighting chance against the enormous odds!

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