Board Offers Rochester Schools Job to Albion Superintendent Clarke
He was chosen from among three finalists to replace retiring Superintendent David Pruneau.
In a unanimous vote, Rochester Board of Education members chose Frederick Clarke, superintendent of Albion Schools, as the next leader of Rochester Community Schools.
"I found him to be articulate, to have a depth of knowledge and to be very well-prepared," said board member Marty Sibert, who led the committee to find a new superintendent to replace retiring Superintendent David Pruneau.
"He always spoke in a positive manner," Sibert said. "I certainly found him to have a vision."
Clarke outlined that vision in a presentation and interview with board members before their decision Friday night; he was the third and final candidate interviewed this week.
Board members commended Clarke's background in technology, his ability to think "out of the box" and his commitment to being involved with the community outside of the school. They described him as intellectual and inspirational — one who would take the district from "great to greatest," as he mentioned in his interview Friday.
"He had meat behind the vision and some demonstrable examples. ... He saw the challenges as opportunities," said board member Gerald Moore.
Board member Chuck Coutteau called Clarke a collaborative, participating leader. "He was zeroing in on the right things," Coutteau said. "He has experience with being creative with less funding."
Board members planned to call Clarke to offer him the position following Friday night's meeting. They will then begin to negotiate his salary.
Clarke was a high school science teacher and an assistant high school principal before he moved into administration. While leader of Albion Schools, Clarke implemented all-day kindergarten, which Rochester is debating now.
Clarke is enrolled in the doctoral program at Western Michigan University. He holds a master's degree in education, curriculum and instruction from the University of Houston and a Bachelor of Science degree from the University of Michigan. (Clarke's resume is attached to this story.)
After board members announced their decision, Doug Hill, president of the Rochester Education Association, said he congratulated Clarke and looks forward to working and collaborating with him.
Lynette Teller, a media teacher who attended the board interviews, called the process interesting and informative. "Unfortunately, I wish more stakeholders were able to take time to join in the process," she said.