Rochester Superintendent Clarke Applies for Job in Florida
In his cover letter, he says it's best to "part ways" in Rochester. He has already announced that he is a candidate for a superintendent position with Grant Public Schools.
Rochester Community Schools Superintendent Fred Clarke is one of 30 applicants for a vacancy in the Duval County Public Schools in Florida.
In his cover letter to the district, posted on its website, Clarke stated he is "seeking to relocate to the south."
Clarke, who came to Rochester from Albion Public Schools in 2011, announced this week that he is a candidate for a superintendent position with Grant Public Schools in Grant, in Newaygo County on the west side of Michigan.
He was scheduled to be interviewed publicly for that job this week.
The Duval Board of Education is scheduled to review applications for its superintendent vacancy during a workshop Aug. 16, according to a report in the Florida Times-Union.
Clarke's cover letter to Duval leaders gives more insight into his reasons for wanting to leave Rochester:
"Over a year ago my current district was facing huge financial issues for the first time. I was brought in as a change agent. And the changes I brought, brought them highly qualified administrators, organized into a structure that got the job done, but I also had to bring in changes to balance the budget," Clarke wrote.
"Those changes were difficult to take. They were changes that required privatization of services, which resulted in the elimination of 250 jobs. This was not an easy thing to do.
"The change became much more uncomfortable for the district than they thought it would be. And me as the change agent, I was left holding a lot of the baggage that was attached to those uncomfortable changes.
"At this point, it looks like it would be better to just part ways and move on."
Clarke's cover letter, resume and candidate questionaire for the Duval position are attached in a PDF file to this story.
Clarke has not officially resigned from his position in Rochester. But in an email to parents Tuesday afternoon, he said, "I am confident that the Board and my successor will continue to move the district forward."
Clarke was hired in 2011 to replace retiring Superintendent David Pruneau.