Superintendent South Haven Public Schools

Friday, October 19, 2018
South Haven Public Schools
Position Details: 

The Board of Education of the South Haven Public Schools is conducting a search for its next superintendent.  It is expected that the superintendent will be in place on or about January 2, 2019.



South Haven Public Schools is THE district of choice, where all students graduate with outstanding academic skills and exemplary character.



To offer our students innovative learning opportunities that engage, ignite, and challenge them and to support our students in taking control of their own futures though service, citizenship, scholarship, and personal responsibility.


Our District and Community

South Haven Public Schools is a trailblazer in innovative learning opportunities along the lakeshore.  Located at the mouth of the Black River and bordering the sandy shores of Lake Michigan, South Haven Public Schools consists of five (5) buildings: South Haven High School (9th - 12th grade); Baseline Middle School (6th - 8th grade); North Shore Elementary (4th and 5th grade); Maple Grove Elementary (PK - 3rd grade); and Lincoln Elementary (PK - 3rd grade).

The district also offers vocational skill building through the Van Buren Technology Center and an alternative high school program through the South Haven Alliance Campus, which is housed on the South Haven Campus of Lake Michigan College.  Additionally, students have the opportunity to earn credit while in high school through the district’s dual enrollment partnership with Lake Michigan College. 


Neighboring South Haven Public Schools is Fennville and Saugatuck Public Schools to the north, Bangor Public Schools to the east, and Covert Public Schools to the south.  The majority of the school district lies in Van Buren County, but a portion does extend into Allegan County. 


Known for its expansive beaches, charming downtown shopping district, and stunning scenic trails, South Haven is a tourist favorite and draws a diverse population as year-round residents. Among a variety of seasonal employment opportunities, primary community employers include Bronson South Haven Hospital, manufacturing companies such as Albemarle Corporation, and agricultural providers. 


South Haven Public Schools benefits from an encouraging and supportive community through unique opportunities and partnerships with local businesses and groups.  In May 2014, South Haven Public Schools voters generously approved a $36,000,000 bond, which provided security and facility updates district-wide with the majority of renovations taking place at South Haven High School, including a state-of-the-art Fab Lab and a 21st century style Integrated Learning Center. Additionally, the bond project significantly improved the district’s technological capacity by fulfilling a one-to-one student/technology ratio district-wide.


Overall, South Haven is a quaint, diverse, and charming community with a welcoming and attractive school system. With recent investments in technology, facilities, and programming, the district plans to build upon its current momentum and ascend to new heights!


Additional information is available at


South Haven Points of Pride

Points of pride for the district include a variety of extracurricular activities and clubs, a nationally recognized curriculum, an esteemed fine arts program, a globally competitive robotics team, a nationally competitive history club, and a comprehensive nutrition/farm-to-school program. The district is committed to innovation, as each of the elementary buildings are equipped with a STEM lab and both Baseline Middle School and South Haven High School offer makerspaces.


District Demographics

Enrollment:  1,975

Instructional Staff:  116

Office Staff:  14

Support Staff:  30

Administrators:  14  

Foundation Grant:  $7,871

Non-Homestead Levy:  18 mils

Debt Retirement Millage:  4.8 mils

State Equalized Value:  $845,585,237

Budgeted Expenditures:  Approximately $19,618,782

Projected Fund Balance:  $2,793,885 (Approximately 14.2%)


Selection Criteria

  • Michigan Administrative Certificate, or equivalent
  • Minimum of a Master’s Degree in Educational Leadership/Curriculum, or equivalent
  • Minimum of three years successful experience building principal or central office experience
  • The South Haven School Board has determined that the following criteria are those which are the most highly sought in a new superintendent:
  • Exemplifies the highest level of personal and professional ethics, personal integrity and trust
  • Is a visionary leader and innovator with the ability to engage all stakeholders in pursuit of a clearly defined set of goals for the district
  • Is an actively engaged and visible leader in the schools and the community
  • Possesses strong team-building skills and is capable of engaging the entire school community in a positive and proactive manner
  • Has effective communication skills (speaking, writing, and listening) with excellent interpersonal, public relations, and marketing skills
  • Treats all people with respect and dignity and understands the dynamics of a culturally and socioeconomically diverse community
  • Demonstrates a decision making model that revolves around what is best for all students
  • Experience in bond and/or sinking fund campaigns; and utilization of such funding
  • Is dedicated to educational excellence, continuous improvement, and the success of all students
  • Is a data-driven, research-based decision maker
  • Has successful teaching and administrative experience reflecting a record of success in multiple positions of increasing responsibility
  • Has demonstrated knowledge of, and experience with, best practices in the areas of curriculum, instruction, and assessment
  • Has knowledge of and/or experience in public school finance and fiscal management
  • Has demonstrated success in human resource management including collective bargaining, contract administration, and employment practices
  • Has established a track record of direct involvement with, and knowledge of, the politics of public education at the local, state, and federal levels
  • Exemplifies proven leadership ability with skills in:
    • Creative problem solving
    • Intelligent risk-taking
    • Collaboration and collaborative decision-making
    • Systems thinking and visioning
  • Shows a good understanding of facilities and operations management as well as a commitment to proper care and maintenance programs.


Salary and Contract Information


  • The Board will offer a regionally competitive comprehensive, multi-year contract with a salary commensurate with experience.


Application Procedure

  • Interested candidates should complete and submit the Michigan Leadership Institute online application found at
  • Completed online applications must be submitted no later than 4:00 PM on Friday, October 19, 2018.
  • No printed, faxed, or emailed copies accepted.  All materials will be treated confidentially through the screening process only upon the written request of the candidate.
  • All questions regarding the search should be submitted to David Killips, Regional President, Michigan Leadership Institute, 734-320-6572,


Applicants are advised not to make direct contact with any member of the            Board of Education.




Search Timeline

  • Application deadline – 4:00 PM, Friday, October 19, 2018
  • Selection of candidates for first interviews – October 24, 2018
  • Public interviews – November 5, 6, 7, 2018
  • Second round of public interviews – November 12 and 13, 2018
  • Site or in-district visit - To be determined
  • Tentative starting date – On or around January 2, 2019


The Board may make exceptions to this profile, process, and/or timeline to ensure selection of the best possible candidate.  The services of Michigan Leadership Institute have been secured to assist the Board in the search process and in the screening of candidates.  The Board of Education will make all decisions with respect to process, evaluation of candidates, and appointment of the successful candidate.  

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