Ishpeming board, new super ink deal

ISHPEMING – Ishpeming Public Schools will have a new superintendent effective July 1.

The Ishpeming school board on Monday approved the contract for John Summerhill.

Summerhill, who is finishing his final school year as principal of Center Line High School in downstate Macomb County, will take the reins this summer.

Interim Superintendent and Business Manager Anthony Bertucci said Summerhill will be working closely with him and other district employees to familiarize himself with the school and the area, as well as to help make several hiring decisions to fill key staff vacancies – including an elementary school principal and possibly a special education director.

Under the terms of his three-year contract, which he signed May 7, Summerhill will receive $105,000 per year, as well as standard administrative benefits that include health, dental, vision and life insurance.

If he moves into the school district, the board will pay $2,000 in relocation expenses.

Previous Superintendent Stephen Piereson made about $95,000 when he left last June, Bertucci said, but school board members decided on the $10,000 increase to draw the best possible applicants as well as to make the position more competitive with other districts in the area.

“They wanted to attract a good candidate and wanted to bring their salary range more on par with where the position should be,” Bertucci said. “Especially if you compare it to area principals and such, they wanted to make sure they were offering a fair compensation package.”

While Bertucci will be assisting Summerhill during the transition, he said he’ll be relieved when his duties no longer include those of the superintendent in addition to his role as business manager.

“I am looking forward to a little bit of a reprieve,” Bertucci laughed. “But I think there will be a lot of helping along the way. I mean, Mr. Summerhill’s from a completely different area, so even just getting to know how things work here, I think we’ll have a lot of team meetings, I’m sure.”

Zach Jay can be reached at 906-486-4401.