Board Bristles at Super Candidate's Withdrawal

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"I am very disappointed at the turn things have taken," say Amy Hodgin, Lansing School board member, at the board's special meeting on the superintendent search Monday night.

Sunday night, James Coolican--one of two finalists for the superitendent job in the Lansing School District--pulled out of the process. He told us by phone he felt the board wouldn't have supported his long-range plan for the district.

At the Monday night meeting, they decided they won't immediately offer the job to the remaining candidate, Dr. T.C. Wallace, but they also won't add other candidates to the short list.

They'll soldier on with a visit to Wallace's Mt. Clemens district December 13th.

Board member Amy Hodgin expressed frustration with the process, calling him a shoe-in and complaining, "Why even go through the expense, the charade of going...?"

The rest of the board is adamant they have not made a decision, and anxious to see Dr. Wallace in his home environment.

Meantime, they are asking just what went wrong with the other candidate and if they had a part in it.

"I said Thursday night at the end of the interview that I thought we could meet his expectations," said board member Dan Voss. "I don't know why he didn't hear or didn't accept that."

He and others said they thought long-range planning should be a priority for whomever does take the job. Voss also pointed out these superintendent interviews are a two-way process, yes, many members admit Coolican's assessment stings.

"For Coolican to feel that way...he doesn't know this board," said Hugh Clarke, board vice president.

"We need to take a breath," Voss reminded them all, "and get over our disappointment." He stressed the board should be united moving forward.