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GRPS narrows search for next superintendent to three candidates


After a national search for the next superintendent of Grand Rapids Public Schools, the Board of Education held second round interveiws Monday with the three finalists, which consist of one woman and two men. All three finalists are African-American, all three have a PHD in Educational Leadership, and all three come from outside the state of Michigan where they currently serve in leadership positions in their respective districts.   

Dr. Leadriane Roby, has been the Assistant Superintendent of Richfield Public Schools in Richfield, MN since 2014 and earned her Ph.D. in K-12 Educational Leadership, Research, and Technology from Western Michigan University. She says, she wants to make sure every student in the district is giving an equal chance at success.

“A wondering that I have around that would be, how are those neighborhood schools performing against your theme schools, because they are all, all of your students.”

Dr. Darrin Slade has been the Assistant Superintendent of School Leadership for Kansas City Public Schools in Kansas City, MO since 2018 and received his doctorate in Educational Leadership from University of Maryland College Park.

“Integrity is big with me. If I say something, it what I mean and it’s how I feel,” he said. “If I give me word, I try to back my word up. Leading by example is important to me as a leader. I never ask a staff member to do anything that I would not do.”

Dr. Erick D. Pruitt, has been the Deputy Chief of High Schools for Chicago Public Schools in Chicago, IL, since 2019 and earned his doctorate in Educational Leadership from National-Louis University.

“So, I would say that my leadership style is collaborative,” he said. “Being a collaborative leader is imperative. Not only do you want to provide the people that you work with and the team you create an opportunity to give feedback, but you also want them to push back on ideas that help move the district forward.   

The board is expected to meet Monday, February 24th at 5:30 PM to discuss the candidates. The meeting is open to the public.