The new Superintendent of Riverview Schools should have no trouble introducing himself to parents, students and school district employees, as he is already well known to most of them.
On Tuesday, the Riverview Community School District unanimously approved a resolution to begin contract negotiations with Joseph Hatzl, principal of Riverview Community High School, as the district’s next superintendent.
Hatzl’s selection followed an extensive process to gather stakeholder feedback, which included an online survey and nine in-person focus groups. Stakeholder feedback was compiled and reviewed by the board, which used it to develop selection criteria.
The jury used its selection criteria to examine the application files of 18 candidates.
Six of these candidates were interviewed over two nights, April 13 and 14. The two candidates chosen as finalists – Hatzl and Pamela Campbell – were brought back to the district for open houses in the afternoon, followed by final interviews on April 19.
Campbell is the superintendent of the Columbia School District in Brooklyn, Michigan.
Written comments were collected from the public after each nominee was interviewed, and these comments were considered by school board members in their deliberations.
After a debriefing of the final two interviews, Hatzl’s motion for selection was made by Administrator Sandy Meeks and seconded by Administrator Megan Walter. When board secretary Sheila Walker recorded the roll-call vote, the vote for Hatzl becoming the school district’s next superintendent was unanimous.
“Our district was very fortunate to have two outstanding candidates among our finalists,” said council chair Timothy Bohr. “Ultimately, our choice came down to the passion, dedication and commitment of our own high school principal, Mr. Joseph J. Hatzl. In our district, we all want to “lead the way to excellence” and he has been a key part of our district’s success to date and is a great fit to lead us into the future. The board welcomes him as a new leader effective July 1 and looks forward to helping him succeed and make Riverview Community School District the best choice for students, staff and families.
The Michigan Association of School Boards assisted the school district in its superintendent search process.
Hatzl will replace Russell Pickell, who is retiring after serving as Superintendent of Schools for the past 11 years.