Rochester Superintendent Fred Clarke Seeking New Job
A year after starting his role in Rochester, Clarke is a candidate for a superintendent position on the west side of the state.
Fred Clarke, who began his tenure as leader of Rochester Community Schools one year ago, is looking for work with another school district, he announced Tuesday.
Clarke, who came to the district from Albion Public Schools, is a candidate for a superintendent position with Grant Public Schools in Grant, in Newaygo County on the west side of Michigan.
He is scheduled to be interviewed publicly for that job this week.
In a statement, Clarke said he informed the Board of Education of his plan to seek another job opportunity earlier this month.
Clarke has not officially resigned. 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 released the following statement:
“Rochester is a great, high achieving district and I am honored to be a part of the leadership team here,” he said. “I am so impressed by the professionalism of the staff and the incredible support of the parent community.
"While I am proud of what we have accomplished over the past year in terms of transitioning to the Common Core State Standards, developing a teacher evaluation tool, and hiring dynamic new administrators, I am also saddened by the hard choices we had to make, particularly the loss of 250 employees due to contracting services.
"My experience in Rochester has convinced me that my true passion lies in working to close the achievement gap in districts that are challenged in ways that Rochester is not.”
The Open Meeting Act has provisions that require boards to announce candidates for a superintendent position.
Board President Jennifer Berwick wished Clarke well in his pursuit of a new leadership position. "We appreciate the time and effort he has given to Rochester Community Schools," she said in a statement.
"We are confident that he will continue to work with the Board and administration in providing leadership to do what is best for our students during this transitional period.”
Clarke was hired in 2011 to replace retiring Superintendent David Pruneau. In an interview the day after he was offered the position, Clarke said he felt "extrememely honored" and "pure excitement" about his future in Rochester. The search to hire Clarke cost the district about $30,000 in 2010 and 2011.
Grant Public Schools encompasses four schools: two elementary schools, a middle school and a high school. The district's 2011-12 enrollment was 2,071, according to the state's enrollment dashboard, www.mischooldata.org.
That district's Superintendent, Scott Bogner, resigned in June to take a position with Goodrich Schools.