Interim Superintendent Jeremy Hughes Could Stay with Plymouth-Canton Schools Another Year
Plymouth-Canton Community Schools' board of education pleased by Hughes' offer to extend stay with district.
Jeremy Hughes came to Plymouth-Canton Community Schools in May as a short-term solution to a bigger problem: Finding a long-term superintendent.
While the district has not yet found that candidate after several years of instability at the position, it likely will have Hughes available for a longer term than previously anticipated.
Hughes, who currently is serving as interim superintendent until a more permanent candidate is selected, surprised board members Tuesday by offering to extend his stay for another year.
While meeting in closed session before the public portion of Tuesday’s regular Board of Education meeting, Hughes made his offer to stay to school board members while the superintendent search was being discussed, but the board held off on discussing the issue until the meeting went public, Board President John Jackson said.
Hughes, who was unanimously hired as interim superintendent in May to replace previous superintendent Craig Fiegel, said he had been approached by board members and staff members half-jokingly about staying with the district. It wasn’t until Jackson put the superintendent search on the meeting agenda that Hughes took it seriously and began weighing his options, he said.
“I decided I’d better think about this,” he said. “So I told the board, ‘If you are interested in having me here, I’m quite willing to stay. In fact I’d really enjoy that.’”
Jackson said he had just a hint that Hughes was going to offer to stay on another year, but he didn’t know for certain until Tuesday’s meeting. He said he asked Hughes about the matter while in closed session and received the response the board was seeking — that Hughes was interested in staying on. This, Jackson said, will allow the district to keep its momentum with initiatives Hughes brainstormed, including a housing study.
Hughes said he enjoyed his role as a somewhat of a mentor to his colleagues in the administration and staying on will help shape his goals for the coming year.
“I enjoy working with them,” Hughes said of his colleagues. “I think together, we’re kind of growing together into a real solid team. There are a lot of neat plans being made for yet this year and certainly next year, and I would just like the opportunity to help this team grow and see some of these things actually blossom next year.”
Hughes said his contract will have to be adjusted before the extension can become official, including implementing a definite ending date. This may be discussed in two weeks, Jackson said.
Jackson said the district’s lawyer will have to meet with Hughes and work out any additional terms, either with a contract extension or a new contract.
His current contracts runs through June 2012, but was open-ended in the event a superintendent was found. Hughes said he is not a candidate for the permanent job.
“I’m near the end of a career,” Hughes said. “I’m not in the middle, so I’m not interested in the permanent superintendent (job).”
While no action was taken on the matter Tuesday, Hughes received unanimous support from the board for his possible extension.
“I’m really excited to see what you and the team can do for another year,” Treasurer Judy Mardigian said.
Jackson said Hughes has helped have a calming effect on the board, which he said had a more confrontational, divided tone before Hughes was hired.
“The staff will know there will be some continuity there with someone who is highly respected in the field,” he said.
Hughes previously worked five years as deputy superintendent and chief academic officer of Michigan’s department of education.