January 06, 2010

The Day When Rick Releases a "Blog" Release

Truly, it's time to make something happen.

My first school's mascot was a wolverine. It's hard to find a quality wolverine to adorn your uniforms. So we created the "flying V" and used that on uniforms, hat, and advertising. My second school, the Hornets, had an awesome logo. Now, you certainly can't go wrong with a bear!

Last night, the Buckley Board of Education hired a new Superintendent. By a 7–0 vote, they hired Mr. Rick Heitmeyer to serve as the district's leader. The initial contract is for two–and–a–half years.

The journey started when I received an email that "...we went with the guy from Buckley." What the email meant was that Elk Rapids Public Schools, my alma mater, had hired Steven Prissel as the new superintendent at ER.

I turned to Lori and said, "Buckley. I find that intriguing."

During the next couple of weeks we talked about whether we would apply. Ultimately, because I am from Elk Rapids (up north) and because of the information gathered about Buckley, we decided to apply. Actually, Lori said one afternoon, "I really think you should apply." That helped. So I sent my information into the school district. The deadline was November 20.

My first interview was on a terrible, icy, snowy day in December. Most of Michigan's schools were closed, including Central Montcalm and Buckley. My interview went well and a couple of weeks later, I interviewed a second time. The second interview went okay, but Lori went with me and said it went well.

On December 29, we decided to go see Up in the Air. It's a movie about change, about future, about transitions. And my cell phone rang. (Sorry, GKC cinemas ... I was expecting an important phone call). It was Dave Buck, Buckley's Board President, with a belated Christmas present. The Buckley Bears offered me the opportunity to become the Superintendent.

I consulted with mentors, former bosses, former colleagues, etc. as I worked through the negotiation process. I have sat on both sides of negotiations in the past: both the teacher side and the board side, but this time I was negotiating with the board of myself. That was a new twist. We worked on compensation and some language adjustments. (It's good to have an awesome network!)

I never intended to look for a superintendency this year. I've made great friends at Central Montcalm during the past eight years. You so often hear about a "fit" being just right and I think I fit Buckley's needs right now and the fit my needs. So, I'm excited (extremely!) about the new opportunity. Thanks to everyone who helped in the process or quickly called or emailed to offer congratulations. Lori, Amber, Courtney, and I are excited to begin a new chapter.

Have a great day!


Greg Eno said...


Kurt said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Kurt said...

Congratulations! I'm sure you'll do a wonderful job!

Anonymous said...

Congrats Rick!!!!!!

I wish you the best of luck. I have no doubt that you will be a great Superintendent. I have had a lot of fun working at CM schools while you were the principal at Sheridan.
I am sure you will be missed here!!!!

Again Best of luck