‘Well-rounded’ choice: Steve Patchin named new Hancock superintendent

Graham Jaehnig/Daily Mining Gazette Steve Patchin, who holds a Ph.D. in education leadership, and a BS in business administration, was chosen to be the next superintendent of Hancock Public Schools on Monday.

HANCOCK — Stephen Patchin was selected for the position of superintendent of Hancock Public Schools at Monday’s regular monthly meeting.

Patchin was one of three candidates selected to be interviewed for the position from a list of 10 applicants.

Board President Dale Kero said that while all three candidates had very strong qualifications, all three were from the local area.

Patchin earned his Ph.D. in education leadership from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, a master of science in educational leadership from the University of Cincinnati, and bachelor science degrees in social Ssciences and business administration from Michigan Technological University, where he is currently the director of career services.

Patchin has taught middle and high school mathematics and social sciences, and he also created and ran science technology engineering and math-focused pre-college outreach programs in a university setting, including Mind Trekkers, which he co-founded as a college student-driven traveling festival that inspires K-12 students to pursue STEM-focused careers.

During the interviews, each candidate was asked the same questions, each of which was approved by the Michigan Association of School Board (MASB), said Kero, although the board discovered during the first interview that one hour per candidate was not enough time in which to ask all 17 planned questions.

“My initial leaning was towards Steve Patchin,” said board member Catherine Jordan. “All of the candidates had great attributes.”

Of the three, however, Jordan said Patchin offered the most teaching experience in the classroom, and in addition, extensive experience with grant writing, which was one desired quality the board had said at earlier meetings they would like to see a candidate possess.

“His overall experience seemed very well-rounded,” Jordan said, “and he’s used to being in front of the public. He seemed very personable, when we were talking with him.”

Kero said in adding to Patchin’s experience teaching in Dollar Bay, he had to had two initial positions at Michigan Tech, one with summer youth programs, and also with Mind Trekkers, which are K-12 and 6-12.