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Head of human resources chosen as interim superintendent

Board to begin search for successor to Shibler

Rockford — Following Superintendent Michael Shibler’s retirement this December, Rockford Public Schools will see a familiar face at the helm for the remainder of the school year. 

The board of education on Monday unanimously appointed Korie Wilson-Crawford, current assistant superintendent of human resources, to serve as the district’s interim superintendent beginning Jan. 1, 2022. 

“Rockford Public Schools is a great district because of Dr. Shibler and the entire RPS team, and I look forward to working alongside our staff as interim superintendent,” Wilson-Crawford said today. “I am committed to providing a welcoming and academically challenging environment that allows all students the opportunity for success. Our staff are doing amazing work, we have a very supportive community, and I am looking forward to continuing Rockford’s tradition of excellence in this interim role.”

Wilson-Crawford has served Rockford in her current role since June 2018. She previously spent 17 years with Greenville Public Schools in teaching and multiple leadership positions. A certified civil rights and Title IX coordinator and human resource specialist, she is currently pursuing a doctorate in education and organizational leadership at Vanderbilt University.

Shibler announced his retirement this summer after more than 32 years as Rockford superintendent and 53 years in public education. He is Kent County’s longest-serving superintendent. 

In a statement, Shibler described Wilson-Crawford as “an innovative educational leader who remains connected to the classroom and the importance of maintaining a clear focus on the mission of our district and service to the community. … Korie is well respected and is of the highest integrity. I am confident the district will continue to thrive under Korie’s leadership.”

Because Shibler will be retiring mid-year, the board determined it would be in the district’s best interest to postpone its search for his replacement and let potential candidates complete this school year at the districts where they are currently serving. 

This fall the board plans to select a search firm to help guide the work of identifying RPS’ next superintendent. That process will include gathering input from the district and community in early 2022 to identify important qualities and characteristics. The board’s goal is to interview candidates in March and April, with the hope of having a new superintendent in place to begin July 1, 2022.

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Beth Heinen Bell
Beth Heinen Bell is a reporter and copy editor, covering Rockford, Lowell, Grandville and Cedar Springs. She is an award-winning journalist who got her start as the education reporter for the Grand Haven Tribune. A Calvin University graduate, she later returned to her alma mater to help manage its national writing festival and edit and write for enrollment communications. Beth has also written for The Grand Rapids Press, Fox 17 and several West Michigan businesses and nonprofits. She is fascinated by the nuances of language, loves to travel and has strong feelings about the Oxford comma. Read Beth's full bio

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