Board narrows search for next DPS superintendent to 3 potential finalists

Rigorous interview schedule awaits them over next few weeks


DETROIT – Three finalists remain as the Board of Education for the Detroit Public Schools Community District narrows its search for the next superintendent.

The three educators still vying for the spot are Nikolai Vitti, superintendent of Duval County Public Schools; Derrick R. Coleman, superintendent of the River Rogue district; and Orlando Ramos, regional superintendent for Milwaukee Public Schools.

The three finalists were named during a special board meeting, after the board conducted a nationwide search considering 75 applicants, according to a news release from DPSCD.

“As a school board, our focus and our goal is always to do what is best for the children,” board President Iris Taylor said. “This is our primary consideration in everything we do, and is also at the forefront of our thinking during this process.”

In late January, the district retained the search firm Ray and Associates to help with the hunt for the perfect candidate.

The firm narrowed the applicants down to 10 and delivered their names to the board Thursday.

The board reviewed the application packages, including videos, in a closed session. Board members were then given an individual number for anonymity and each member scored the applicants individually and submitted their score cards to the search firm, according to the release.

The firm then tallied each applicant’s score and assigned each person a number prior to going into an open session, so that names could remain confidential.

In the open session, the board discussed the applicants by number only, and further narrowed the selection down to the three finalists.

DPSCD’s Interim Superintendent Alycia Meriweather was not named in the current round of potential finalists.

The board said it appreciated her work throughout the past year.

“We have high regard and a great appreciation for Alycia’s efforts in moving the district forward,” Taylor said in the written statement. “We are pleased that she will continue in her role through the end of the school year and we look forward to working with her in future endeavors.”

Meriweather’s existing contract will expire June 30.

As for the next steps toward finding the district’s next superintendent, the finalists will be given a rigorous interview schedule in the upcoming weeks, the board said.

“We are pleased to continue the vetting process of selecting a permanent superintendent to lead our district,” Taylor said. “The board will exercise due diligence to assure that the best candidate is chosen.”

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