Aspiring Superintendent Preparation/New Superintendent Preparation
The position of superintendent involves a complex set of relationships and responsibilities. Michigan Leadership Institute works with aspiring and new superintendents to build an understanding of the demands of the role and to develop competencies that support success in the superintendency. In 2017 MLI will present the 18th Annual Superintendent Professional Preparation Series Academy (SUPES Academy). The SUPES Academy is the longest-running superintendent preparation program in the state of Michigan and is one of the options for meeting requirements for superintendent endorsement to the State of Michigan Administrative Certification. A full description of the program is found on the Academy page of this web site.
”As a former building principal and current director of curriculum and instruction, I can honestly say that this is the best professional development series that I have experienced. The interactive and comprehensive nature of the SUPES Academy has allowed me to apply all of the skills learned in these sessions to my day-to-day work in my current district. The Academy has given me the confidence I need to actively pursue a superintendent position.”
-Stephen D. Laatsch, Saline Public Schools (SUPES Academy 2011)
“MASA appreciates the strong working relationship we have with the Michigan Leadership Institute. Your consistently high quality professional development for aspiring superintendents helps to create a strong pool of candidates for the many positions open in Michigan school districts. Your commitment to pair the right candidate with the right district you serve goes a long way toward providing school district stability.”top of page
-William Mayes, Executive Director MASA
Hiring a new superintendent is arguably the most important task a school board will perform. Knowledgeable boards recognize that the cost of an ineffective search to the students, district and community will far exceed the cost of a professionally guided search.
MLI searches are led by a regional president who facilitates the search and acts as the direct contact with the board, community and candidates. All MLI searches are supported by the full team of MLI regional presidents who collaborate on the search effort to ensure that the best qualified candidates are brought forward for consideration. MLI Regional Presidents are well-equipped to both lead and support searches. Together they have more than 30 years of superintendent search experience enhanced by their own personal longevity and success in the role of Superintendent.
All MLI searches are national searches. All MLI searches are successful searches—MLI continues the search until the Board finds and employs a highly-qualified candidate whom they believe is the right fit for their district. MLI searches can be customized to provide specific services or to accommodate a board’s unique schedule needs. More detailed information about MLI searches can be found on the Searches page of this web site.
"Michigan Leadership Institute outlined a very comprehensive plan for our superintendent search that allowed our board to feel very secure during the selection process. Their expert knowledge, guidance and professionalism throughout this process made what appeared to be a very difficult course of action quite easy for us to come to a unanimous decision and appoint our new superintendent."
-Deborah Prentiss, Board President - Fraser Public Schools
”The school board in Clio Schools contracted with MLI for our national superintendent search. This turned out to be one of the wisest decisions we could have made. MLI assisted us at every step of the way. We eventually hired a superb candidate from a large field of fully qualified individuals. I would give MLI five stars and not hesitate to use them again.”
-Robert Swartwood, Board Member-Clio Area Schools
“The superintendent search performed by MLI exceeded expected results. Their staff was knowledgeable, professional and able to lead us through the process. It is my honor to recommend them to districts knowing that MLI will benefit the boards, administrations, staffs and children of those districts. I would rate them as one of the top organizations I’ve ever worked with in my 30-year career.”top of page
-Dana Daniels, Former Board President-Niles Community Schools
Functional Area Reviews
Michigan Leadership Institute does functional area reviews for superintendents who want external perspective and objectivity in their change initiatives. A two or three person review team will spend up to three days in the district reviewing the structure and operation of a functional area. Functional areas may include: instruction, human resources, facilities, finance, operations, communications, leadership team, or organizational structure. Michigan Leadership Institute will prepare a report outlining strengths, concerns and recommendations. This review lays the foundation for and provides the impetus for making needed changes in an area of concern to the superintendent.
Michigan Leadership Institute offers governance workshops for superintendents and their boards who want to work together effectively, establish an interdependent relationship and maintain focus on clearly identified indicators of success. Often these workshops are scheduled to occur quarterly. MLI also offers governance workshops as needed when board composition changes, standards of practice need to be revisited, communication issues arise or goals need to be reevaluated. MLI governance team workshops are customized in content and length of sessions to meet the needs of individual organizations. MLI staff are available to meet with leadership teams at convenient times, including evenings and weekends.
“MLI has been a great deal of help in providing guidance to Iosco RESA and me. The processes provided by MLI and the experience of their staff can move you forward towards our common goal of doing what is best for children. MLI has helped us build goals and formulate a vision that has helped bring people together.”
-Dana McGrew, Superintendent-IOSCO RESA
“LESA has used MLI’s services for superintendent searches and for facilitating workshops. Our MLI Consultant was highly professional, yet sensitive to the needs of the board. He recognized when we needed help, whether openly or behind-the-scenes. He was available, attuned and provided the guidance we needed when we needed it.”top of page
-Julie Hill, Board President-Livingston ESA
Michigan Leadership Institute facilitates superintendent performance evaluations by helping superintendents and their boards constructively discuss superintendent strengths, areas of concern, and goals for future performance. These discussions also include a review of governance team performance and how the board supports the superintendent’s success.
Michigan Leadership Institute has the experience to assist district leadership with some or all of its labor negotiations efforts. This might include any or all of the following: assisting in the development of the district’s openers, development of the negotiations strategy, coaching/advising the negotiating team, participating as part of the board’s negotiating team, leading the negotiations or training the board or team in collaborative bargaining. Having the support of Michigan Leadership Institute resources can be especially useful when the superintendent cannot commit the time necessary for negotiations with employee groups or when the superintendent does not want to risk damage to long-term employee relationships by taking an active role in negotiations.
Michigan Leadership Institute will assist districts with succession planning. This involves identifying staff with executive leadership potential; analyzing their current level of preparedness (knowledge and personal strengths); identifying critical areas for growth; and writing and monitoring professional development plans. Succession planning can develop internal candidates for future district leadership. Strong internal leadership candidates can offer the advantages of continuity in programming, understanding of the district culture, pre-existing trust with staff and community, and a strong board/superintendent leadership match.top of page
MLI facilitates district strategic planning. In a full strategic planning project, we obtain and process input from the district leadership team, planning task force and community groups as needed. We provide a clear process for development or update of a plan, clear indicators of success for the district, and strategies to achieve success. Our work helps districts to develop the capacity for: strategic thinking, continuous improvement, increased levels and rates of student achievement, and accountability at every level. Strategic Planning projects are customized by using planning process components selected specifically to meet each client’s needs.
“Fraser Public Schools secured the services of the Michigan Leadership Institute to assist our district on a number of management projects. One key area was the development of a three-year strategic plan. This process involved a large number of our community members, staff, and students. In every instance, MLI exceeded our expectations and led our district in the development of a meaningful plan that will guide our future initiatives.”
-David M. Richards, Ph.D.-Superintendent, Fraser Public Schools
Facilities Utilization Studies
Michigan Leadership Institute works with districts considering change to the configuration of their facilities as part of cost-reduction or future planning efforts. Often MLI teams with other professional resources to bring broad project expertise. The involvement of external experts can diminish local resistance to change and present an objective and credible perspective acceptable to the community and other stakeholders.
Michigan Leadership Institute assists districts by facilitating community forums to gain input on critical district issues and initiatives.top of page