Ishpeming board interviews superintendent candidates

ISHPEMING – The Ishpeming Public Schools District is one step closer to choosing its next superintendent, after the Board of Education conducted a second round of interviews with the final two candidates Monday night.

“I think the board was very comfortable with both candidates,” said Sheri Davie, the district’s search consultant from the Michigan Association of School Boards.

The first candidate, John Summerhill of downstate Center Line, is the current principal of Center Line High School, and will leave the position at the end of the school year.

Anthony Bertucci, Ishpeming’s business manager and interim superintendent, said Summerhill did a “very, very good job explaining” the reasons for the administrative leave.

“It was pretty much a difference in educational philosophy, and he told the superintendent … that he would be seeking employment elsewhere,” Bertucci said.

Davie agreed that Summerhill fully explained the situation.

“I think it was just a matter of different aspects of looking at an issue,” she said. She added that Summerhill maintains “an excellent relationship with the superintendent” at Center Line and said that the superintendent is one of Summerhill’s references.

The second candidate, Jeff Budge, is the current principal of Beaverton Middle School in downstate Gladwin County.

Davie said the board liked Budge’s “interest in the area overall, and that he saw this as a new opportunity for him – as he put it, kind of stretching to have the opportunity to go to a different district and try something new.”

Both Summerhill and Budge are still in the running for the position.

In addition to the questions asked by the board members, there were also questions submitted to the board by 15 to 20 people.

“The reaction we got from those attending afterwards was positive,” Leverton said.