Hancock holds last superintendent Q&A

Mark Brenton fields questions Tuesday; School board invites him and Kipp Beaudoin back for second round

Kurt Hauglie/Daily Mining Gazette Mark Brenton, candidate for the Hancock Public Schools superintendent position, talks with the Board of Education Tuesday.

HANCOCK — The Hancock School Board of Education conducted the last of four first-round interviews of candidates for the Hancock Public Schools superintendent position Tuesday, and they made a decision about which two candidates to ask back for a second round of interviews.

Mark Brenton, principal of Polk Elementary School in the Dearborn Heights School District No. 7, answered a series of prepared questions from the school board members during the process, which was open to the public.

On Monday, board members interviewed David Dyb, district administrator at the Iola-Scandanavia School District in Wisconsin, Kipp Beaudoin, principal for Hancock Middle School and Hancock Central High School, and Howard Parmentier, superintendent, principal and athletic director for Chassell Township Schools. Previous to that position, he was principal at Gordon G. Barkell Elementary School.

Former Hancock Public Schools Superintendent Monica Healy retired on June 30 after 12 years in the position.

After telling the board about his work history, which included being a teacher and administrator, Brenton said he has visited the Upper Peninsula many times in the past, and is familiar with the Copper Country.

He thinks his experience in education makes him a good candidate for the Hancock Public Schools superintendent position, Brenton said.

“I have been mentored by a number of excellent superintendents,” he said. “I have been moving toward this goal for years.”

Asked about how he would implement the vision of growth and sustainability for the district, Brenton said he would engage all stakeholders, including faculty, staff and members of the community.

“I think those things should be discussed openly,” he said.

In all things, Brenton said it’s important to do what’s best for the students.

Brenton said based on his research into the district, challenges aren’t so much finances or test scores, but rather a need to market the district better.

“I think you have a strong foundation,” he said. “I think there’s a lot to offer here.”

When students leave the district, Brenton said he would try to find out why, and then address those reasons, if possible.

Brenton said he has experience with budgeting as a result of his being part of leadership teams. As an administrator, he said he researches possible purchases.

“I investigate everything thoroughly,” he said.

As an administrator, Brenton said he usually comes in under budget while meeting the needs of the schools for which he works.

Brenton said he has experience addressing problems as principal by determining what the problems were and working to find solutions which satisfied all involved.

“There’s always issues that can be addressed,” he said.

Brenton also answered questions about innovation, guiding professional development, engaging staff members in the running of the schools, how to keep relationships positive, his collective bargaining experience, resolving conflicts, grant proposal writing and fundraising and how he would gain the trust of all stakeholders in the district.

After the question and answer period, Brenton said he did considerable research into the Hancock area, and knows what he thinks is great about the district.

“I am eager to come here in a leadership role,” he said. “I think this is something I can do.”

After the interview, the school board chose Brenton and Beaudoin to come back for a second interview on July 24.

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