The student news site of Grosse Pointe North High School.                               707 Vernier Rd., Grosse Pointe Woods, MI 48236

North Pointe Now

The student news site of Grosse Pointe North High School.                               707 Vernier Rd., Grosse Pointe Woods, MI 48236

North Pointe Now

The student news site of Grosse Pointe North High School.                               707 Vernier Rd., Grosse Pointe Woods, MI 48236

North Pointe Now

District searches for new superintendent after Dr. Jon Dean’s retirement

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Photo credit: Kenzie Dera
QUALITY LEADERSHIP | Choosing the role of the superintendent is one of the most important roles for the Board of Education, according to Deputy Superintendent Dr. Roy Bishop Jr., which is why they included the Michigan Association of School Boards in their search for the best candidate. “I’m sure they’ll have a candidate profile, a portfolio that will be created based upon community, student, teacher, paraprofessional support staff input, and then from there they will look to be able to find the best candidate for someone to fill in that role,” Bishop said.

When Deputy Superintendent Dr. Roy Bishop Jr. reflects on former superintendent Dr. Jon Dean’s time spent in GPPSS, it is Dean’s contributions to the district Bishop believes will be remembered most. After spending over a decade in a central office position, Bishop recalls Dean’s dedication to working with the Board of Education to meet student needs, helping faculty develop school policies and supporting students across the district.

“I think change is hard, As a community, we must come together to really find a new superintendent who is as dedicated as Dr. Dean to serving our community. So for us, it is really an opportunity to talk about what we value most, which is teaching and learning, and then someone who can help promote that vision for everybody involved.”

— Dr. Roy Bishop Jr., Deputy Superintendent

When Dean publicly announced his retirement in an email issued to GPPSS community members on August 23, readers were met with a sense of uncertainty for the district’s next steps but Bishop has faith in the future of the district’s leadership. According to Bishop, Dean contributed to student success in numerous ways, and hopes these practices to be modeled in the future.

“I think change is hard,” Bishop said. “As a community, we must come together to really find a new superintendent who is as dedicated as Dr. Dean to serving our community. So for us, it is really an opportunity to talk about what we value most, which is teaching and learning, and then someone who can help promote that vision for everybody involved.”

As an educator, math department chair Eric Vanston admires Dean’s passionate leadership and ability to communicate with others. Although he acknowledges how this change has put the school in an unknown situation.

“As for me, I was disappointed to hear Dr. Dean retired because I thought he was a good leader for our district and an advocate for North,” Vanston said. “It affects the district because I believe continuity in leadership is helpful, and him leaving puts us in uncertain times.” 

This feeling of unpredictability is also felt by students, including sophomore Silas Wooten. He acknowledges Dean’s ability to take a stance on district issues. 

“I feel like he definitely, in the whole school system, was a very active member and he helped push things along,” Wooten said. “Maybe people didn’t agree with everything he did, but like he was a very active member at least. I think that’s important in a superintendent.” 

The importance of community engagement is also a quality that Bishop seeks in a future leader. According to him, communication between our schools is valuable and knowing what and when to do is beneficial to our district.

“I would hope that they will be active in our community, to make sure that they are in tune with the needs that need to be addressed,” Bishop said. “I would hope that they would be someone that is rooted in wanting to have conversations with all six of our communities to find out what is the right type of work that we should be doing, as a community of learners. Our focus should be on teaching and learning. So I am really hoping our new superintendent really helps us continue to keep that our focus.”

The district’s focus on instruction is something that Vanston agrees with. He  thinks listening to the needs of the district’s educators will help achieve this. Vanston stresses the need for a role model who will make valid contact and guide the way for teachers.
“My goals for the new superintendent are to be a strong leader,” Vanston said.“With the budget cuts to this district, there is a lot of uncertainty. We need a strong leader to help us move forward. I also hope [they] can be a more reliable communicator.”

Ensuring strong leadership is something that Bishop hopes the district can provide in the coming years. He emphasizes his goal of uniting the community and developing new strategies in order to support student success. 

“We are a people driven entity, and we need to make sure that we keep relationships first in everything that we do,” Bishop said. “We need to make sure that we continue to listen to our staff, listen to our students, and keep our traditions, especially the ones that work. So I’m looking for someone that can come in, and that can really pull our community together, and help us find ways to support our students even better than what we do now.”

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