The Ludington Area Schools Board of Education made two hires while also accepting a letter of resignation during Wednesday’s special board meeting held at the Administration Office located at 809 E. Tinkham Ave.
The board approved the hiring of Dr. Peg Mathis as the district’s interim superintendent until a permanent replacement can be found for Jason Kennedy. Kennedy was hired by Fruitport Community Schools to be its superintendent.
Mathis was assistant principal at Kenowa Hills High School and spent 10 years as the superintendent of Newaygo Public Schools until her retirement in June.
A start date has not officially been agreed upon, but during her virtual interview, Mathis said she could start as early as Monday and plans to be in the district full-time during her time as the interim superintendent.
The board also hired Ron Veldman in the role of owner’s representative for the district’s construction project. Veldman is currently the interim superintendent at Fruitport Community Schools. Before working at Fruitport, he served as the superintendent for Coopersville Public Schools until he retired in June 2020.
Veldman was originally one of two candidates interviewing for the interim position. Veldman told board president Steve Carlson he felt he could best help the board by managing the construction project as an owner’s representative.
He has extensive experience with bond projects and working in that role, he told the board on Wednesday.
“As far as construction I love the work,” he said. “I love being involved to make work decisions and build teams.”
Veldman said he looked at the workload and said it will be an interesting three-to-four months with the transition and just felt he could help the district in that role.
The board on Wednesday accepted the letter of resignation from Kennedy, effective on 11:59 p.m. Sunday.
Kennedy thanked the district for giving him the opportunity to lead in a community that will always hold a special place in his heart. He thanked the board of education for always being supportive, understanding a caring people even when times were tough.
“I am confident the district is positioned to continue its growth and pursuit of being a premier educational organization in the region,” he said. “We will miss being Ludington Orioles.”
The board of eduction also held a superintendent workshop with Dave Killips of the Michigan Leadership Institute. During the workshop, Killips told the board that the MLI has already posted the superintendent position. Killips will be working with the board and the community to narrow the qualities the district is looking for in the next superintendent.
Killips said the deadline for applicants is 4 p.m., Friday, Oct. 15. On Monday, Oct. 25, Killips will meet with the board in a closed session to review the candidate pool and then in open session to discuss potential candidates to interview.
In early November — Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday, Nov. 1-3 — the first round of interviews is scheduled to take place. The second round of candidate interviews is scheduled for Monday and Tuesday, Nov. 8 and 9. The new superintendent is expected to be hired shortly afterward.
The first day on the job for the new superintendent is expected to be Monday, Jan. 3, 2022, which is a work day for teachers and staff prior to the Tuesday, Jan. 4, 2022, return to school following the holiday break.