Town halls give residents chance to weigh in on next superintendent

Residents will have four opportunities next week to have input on the next superintendent of Grand Rapids Public Schools. Town hall meetings are being held Monday through Thursday, Nov. 26-29...

Teresa Weatherall Neal

Residents will have four opportunities next week to have input on the next superintendent of Grand Rapids Public Schools. Town hall meetings are being held Monday through Thursday, Nov. 26-29, for people to share their thoughts on the characteristics they’d like to see in a new schools chief to succeed Teresa Weatherall Neal, who will retire at the end of June 2019.

Meetings are scheduled from 5:30 to 7 p.m. at the following locations:

  • Nov. 26 at City High Middle, 1720 Plainfield Ave NE
  • Nov. 27 at Union High, 1800 Tremont Blvd. NW
  • Nov. 28 at Cesar E. Chavez Elementary, 1205 Grandville Ave SW
  • Nov. 29 at Gerald R. Ford Academic Center, 851 Madison Ave SE
  • Dec. 3 at City High Middle, 1720 Plainfield Ave NE

People unable to attend or who would like to contribute additional thoughts are invited to provide their input online.

“We want to accommodate as many people and as much input as possible,” said Kent ISD Superintendent Ron Caniff.

Kent ISD leaders are also scheduling meetings with community organizations to ensure the broadest possible participation. All the meetings will help the GRPS Board of Education “carefully define the characteristics most desired in our next superintendent,” said board member Tony Baker, who is guiding the community input effort.

“Teresa Neal has provided strong leadership during seven years as superintendent,” Baker said. “Part of her success was in listening and responding to community needs.  As a board, we want to continue that leadership trait by making sure our community has ample opportunity to express their thoughts about our district and its next leader.”

Charles Honey
Charles Honey is a freelance writer and former columnist for The Grand Rapids Press/ MLive.com. As a reporter for The Press from 1985 to 2009, his beats included Grand Rapids Public Schools, local colleges and education issues. Honey served as editor of The Press’ award-winning Religion section for 15 years. His freelance articles have appeared in Christianity Today magazine, Religion News Service and the Aquinas College alumni magazine. Read Charles' full bio.

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