LANSING, MI. (WILX) - The Lansing School Board met Thursday night for the first time since announcing there will be an open search for a new Lansing Schools Superintendent.
The meeting began at 6:30 p.m. and was open to the public. News 10's Cryss Walker was there and said there weren't many people in attendance as the search was not listed on the meeting's agenda.
The district has been looking for a Super since Yvonne Camaal Canul retired earlier this year.
Her Deputy, Mark Coscarella, was named Acting Superintendent and was considered a leading candidate for the job, but he asked to be placed on voluntary paid non-disciplinary administrative leave after an NEWS 10 investigation uncovered allegations that he sexually harassed a former student teacher and allowed students to watch pornography when he was Holt's baseball coach.
Dr. Coscarella's leave of absence is described by the district as a "voluntary, paid, non-disciplinary administrative leave until further notice while a full and fair investigation and search to replace retiring superintendent Yvonne Caamal Canul is underway."
Casey Sterle, who is now a teacher in Leslie, told NEWS 10 she was a student teacher in Coscarella's classroom when he locked her in the room alone and danced in front of her in his underwear.
Two years later, Coscarella resigned from Holt Schools after a pornographic video was shown on a baseball team trip.
Police questioned members of the team and some players told investigators that Coscarella knew about the video while others claimed he provided it.
In a statement released by the school district on November 14, Coscarella said, “Today I have voluntarily requested the Lansing Board of Education place me on paid administrative leave from the Lansing School District while an investigation focused on the false allegation about me is underway.” He added, “I have asked … for leave because it is important for the district and Board of Education to continue their mission without distractions while I work around the clock to clear my name and prove my innocence. My lawyers are pursuing litigation for libel and slander against me.”
The district has since decided to expand its search to outside the area.
The original plan was to have a superintendent in place by Jan.1st, but now that's being pushed back until next summer.
"A district like Lansing, with their programs, size and diversity, is going to require someone with some special skills for sure. But we're pretty confident we're going to be able to find them a great candidate,” said Greg Sieszputowski.
Sieszputowski and the Michigan Association of School Boards are helping the Lansing School District find its next superintendent.
The first step for the district and the MASB is perhaps the most important: gathering public input on what makes a good superintendent.
"We pride ourselves on the input we continuously collect in superintendent searches and it provides tremendous information to inform the board as they make their decisions going forward in developing criteria, and ultimately the selection of the candidate," said Sieszputowski.
Then, they'll meet in December to create the new job application.
"Ultimately the board has the final say on what ends up in that criteria," said Sieszputowski.
The Lansing School District will restart the application process and with the MASB’s help, they'll interview qualified candidates into the spring.
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