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I-Team: Search for permanent Bangor superintendent is expanding

Current interim Bangor superintendent Dave Peden

BANGOR, Mich. (NEWSCHANNEL 3) - It's a story that Newschannel 3 has been following for you since last year: the ousting of Bangor's school superintendent, and the search for his replacement.

In just the last week, we've learned the search for a permanent superintendent is being extended beyond the district's borders.

Newschannel 3 Investigative Reporter Walter Smith-Randolph joined us to tell us what that means for the district's future.

This will be the third interim superintendent leading the Bangor school district in just 8 months.

This means Karen Bitzer will remain elementary school principal while Dennis Paquette's future remains in limbo.

At Monday night's school board meeting, it was a unanimous decision to launch a new search for superintendent.

This comes after the board already interviewed two internal candidates.

But after a year of controversy and scandal, the board decided they need a new leader to get Bangor back on track.

That means neither Bitzer or Paquette will get the job.

Instead, Lynn Johnson, Director of the Career Academy, will lead the district on a temporary basis.

Current interim superintendent Dave Peden says this is a step in the right direction, but not everyone is happy.

"The first time the two names came up was July 31st. That was a tie vote. I think since July 31, they've heard from a lot of community members, a lot of staff members, about which direction they should go in. Clearly when you have two candidates in the district, if you pick one over the other, you have a split in the district," he said.

"It could take up to six months to get a new superintendent. I hope he doesn't make the same mistakes. I hope this board stays on him if you're giving him this position and makes sure he applies for his certification. You turned down somebody twice...it's about certifications," said Bangor resident Dorothy Carpenter.

There are some certifications issues that still need to clarified.

When the board was asked last night about Dennis Paquette, they said that information is protected by attorney-client privilege.

At this time, there's still a lot to be worked out.

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