Three to Compete for Trenton Superintendent Post

The school district has instituted a program where three current administrators will vie for the top spot.

After three Trenton school administrators participate in an internship program beginning in February, one will be named .

Only current administrators working within the district were considered by the district's Board of Education. Of 16 potential candidates, three were selected as finalists:

  • Vince Porreca, principal at ;
  • Stephanie O'Connor, principal at ;
  • and Rodney Wakeham, assistant principal at


Each intern will learn the job of superintendent and work as an acting superintendent for about a week throughout the internship, while continuing to perform in their current positions.

They will learn everything from budgeting and staffing to funding and bond issues. They also will learn how to handle an angry parent or community member, among several other real-life situations superintendents face.

The position became available after Superintendent John Savel announced his retirement, effective June 30, 2011.

Savel did what many public school employees did when Gov. Jennifer Granholm offered retirement incentives last school year in an effort to save the state money. After 38 years in education, he said, it was time to retire.

"The timing seemed to be right," Savel said.

Some of his achievements as superintendent, he said, included a complete overhaul of board policies, publishing those policies on the district's website, developing a curriculum review policy and committee, getting a school bond passed by voters, and operating a transparent administration that involved many in the community.

Former Superintendent Larry Leapley will serve as interim superintendent until a permanent replacement is chosen. Leapley also will lead the internship program and will work directly with the three candidates.


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