The DeWitt School District has selected its next superintendent.
Shanna Spickard is the principal of Milan Middle School and has 24 years of experience in education.
“Honestly it was a very difficult process,” said Craig Kahler, president of the DeWitt school board. “We ended up with three really good finalists for the superintendent job.”
The school board chose Spickard on May 19. After the school board meets this upcoming Monday to vote on Spickard’s contract, it will be official. Her start date will be July 1.
“We felt that Dr. Spickard had some of the characteristics that were interesting for the board. We thought she’d be a good fit in the school district. She has a high level of energy, I think she hit on some key points for some of us regarding revisiting our strategic plan, our vision. She demonstrated some great strengths in the area of diversity, equity, and inclusion,” Kahler said.
Spickard has been principal of Milan Middle School since 2015. She said she will hopefully be moving into her new office in DeWitt as early as next weekend. Her family has already chosen their new DeWitt home.
Kahler said that in the interview process, the board asked each candidate to put together a plan for their first 90 days.
“Much of that effort as I recall,” Kahler said of Spickard’s plan, “was largely, ‘I want to get out. I want to spend my time getting to know the staff, getting to know the administrative staff, getting to know the board members,’ really to learn and understand. Which is important for us. She’s coming to the district with no history here.”
Spickard said she's been trying to hit the ground running.
“Last week I was able to make it into all of the buildings before the kids were out for the summer and able to meet the administrators – they were able to introduce me to a number of the staff, and the teachers and to make it into a few classrooms… So, that was really pleasant for me. It was a great day," she said. "You know we talk to our kids about filling peoples’ bucket and obviously spending the day with all the kids and the staff really filled my bucket.”
It is on Spickard’s list to reach out to the DeWitt Community Partnership around Diversity, Equity and Inclusion.
“It’s a pretty important topic to me and so I’m looking forward to continuing that work,” Spickard said.
When the DeWitt School District announced its search for a new superintendent, Sarah Reck, the community liaison and public relations advisory committee member for the group, said it was important to the school district that its next superintendent continue the work that John Deiter started in 2016 after a racist incident at the DeWitt Middle School.
“We need the new superintendent to be willing to work with us collaboratively on the issues that we see that are still in the school district” Reck said.
Kahler echoed that sentiment.
“We really believe in the end that, as we discussed previously, we wanted someone who would be able to continue the work that Dr. Deiter has already started, and then take us to that next level. We really felt like she could be that candidate that could really do that,” he said.
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