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Jones may be only finalist for Michigan job

Wed., May 11, 2005

East Valley School District Superintendent Michael Jones is dusting off his suitcase, and crossing his fingers.

Jones, selected in April as one of two candidates for a superintendent post in Port Huron, Mich., may now be the only candidate for the job.

According to an article in a Port Huron newspaper, the other candidate, the superintendent of a school district in Sturgis, Mich., withdrew his name Monday for personal reasons.

“They are still checking me out; nobody has offered me a job yet,” Jones said Tuesday. “But I feel I’ve competed pretty strongly, and I’d like to think they will.”

This is the second time Jones, 60, has applied for a superintendent post since arriving at East Valley in 2001.

He applied, but was not selected, for a job at a Lexington, Ky., school district in 2003.

Jones said previously that he is ready to take on the responsibility of a larger district. Port Huron has about 12,000 students. East Valley has about 4,000 students.

“I’m not unhappy,” Jones said. “But I’d like to have this opportunity, and I would assume I had a fair chance.”

Jones and the other candidate, Robert Olsen, were selected from a field of six candidates last month.

According to the Times Herald, after Olsen dropped out on Monday the Port Huron board of directors decided in a special meeting to continue pursuing Jones rather than begin a new superintendent search from scratch.

The Port Huron board scheduled a video conference Thursday with the East Valley school board and staff members to hear more about Jones’ successes in the district, Jones said.

“I didn’t hear a lot of specifics from Mr. Jones, and I want to hear it from people in his district,” board member Chuck Meeker told the Times Herald.

“I think that they just want to make sure I’m legitimate,” Jones said.

The superintendent job at East Valley has been Jones’ first. He previously worked in business administration for Seattle Public Schools.

If selected, Jones would finish out his year at East Valley, beginning the Michigan job in July.

The Port Huron board is expected to make a final hiring decision on Monday, Jones said.


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