Muskegon ISD Chooses Harper Creek Superintendent

MUSKEGON, Mich. — The Muskegon Area Intermediate School District (MAISD) Board of Education has extended an offer to Harper Creek Community Schools Superintendent John Severson, Ph.D. to serve as their new superintendent.

The board voted unanimously to offer Severson the position during a special meeting at 5:30 p.m. Thursday.

MAISD Board President Dwight Vines said Severson conveyed that he is eager and excited to serve as the MAISD superintendent.

“I was treated very well by members of the staff and community during my visits, and I look forward to getting to know everyone better. I am humbled to have been selected to serve the MAISD in this way,” said Severson.

The selection process included two face-to-face interviews, site visits, and opportunities for the board, school staff members and business and community leaders to interact with the two finalists.

“Members of the community, local superintendents, and staff members provided rich feedback throughout the selection process,” said Vines.

Search Consultant Gary Rider, of the Michigan Leadership Institute, said the board was responsive and incredibly purposeful throughout the process.

“The site visits seemed to be especially valuable in resolving questions that had been raised about both candidates,” added Rider.

According to Vines, Severson enjoyed overwhelming support from members of his staff, staff members at the Calhoun ISD, other school leaders and many community members. Harper Creek Community School staff members praised Severson’s leadership style and the way he has developed a climate of mutual respect within the district.

Severson has served as superintendent at Harper Creek Community Schools in Battle Creek for the past 10 years. He was previously a Community Education Administrator at Portage Public Schools and Principal of Harper Creek High School. He holds a master’s degree in Educational Leadership and a doctorate in Educational Leadership from Western Michigan University.

According to Vines, the board was fortunate to have two outstanding final candidates to choose from — Severson and Curtis Finch of the Mecosta-Osceola ISD.

“Both superintendents would have done an excellent job, but Dr. Severson seemed to be the best fit for our organization,” said Vines.

Board Secretary Bill Loxterman said, “Here’s a person who can lead our organization to the highest level.”

“According to Dr. Severson’s staff, he provides guidance and direction when it is needed, and has a clear passion for student achievement,” said Board Trustee Lisa Tyler. “He looks for partnership opportunities and is focused on how his district can be an asset to the entire community.”

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