School Board OKs Dennis McDavid as Berkley's New Superintendent
Board of Education votes 6-0 to replace outgoing superintendent Michael Simeck with Dennis McDavid, the district's current Director of Schools and Human Resources.
Less than a month after Berkley Schools Superintendent Mike Simeck announced he would leave his position at the end of this academic year, the Board of Education has approved his successor.
As expected, the Berkley school board voted 6-0 at Monday night's meeting to hire current Schools and Human Resources Director Dennis McDavid — the only candidate for the job.
Describing the decision to exclusively look internally for Simeck's replacement, school board President Paul Ellison explained how countless officials from Michigan and surrounding states who he met had groused about their selection processes.
“They talked about how grueling the process had been and how the available talent pool was not as favorable as they would have liked,” he said. “The overwhelming opinion was that if you have a strong candidate or two, look internally.”
The decision came about an hour into the regularly scheduled board meeting. Before Ellison requested a roll call vote, two audience members — both former colleagues of McDavid's — requested time for comment.
One of the speakers was Berkley High School English teacher Paul Cierpial, who addressed McDavid directly and waxed poetic about his former colleague.
“His passion for helping kids showed in his effort to push them to be their very best,” Cierpail said. “I’m happy for him, but I’m at least as happy for us; he has the ability to get the most from the team he has assembled.”
Following each speaker came a rousing ovation of approval from the audience. The board then voted and offered its congratulations to McDavid, with his wife sitting by his side and his soon-to-be predecessor Simeck also in attendance.
After the meeting adjourned, McDavid spoke graciously about the support that had been overwhelmingly demonstrated in his nomination.
“I am humbled and honored to be a part of this great district,” he said. “From the board to the teachers and the unions — and the parents and students — Berkley is a tremendous place for education."