By Tom Tolen /

The Brighton Board of Education has narrowed the number of potential interim superintendents down to just two persons, and both are former Brighton assistant superintendents.

The board meeting Monday night was the last official one for outgoing Brighton Superintendent Greg Gray, who is leaving effective June 30th after 11 years at the helm. Board members, who once again met online, discussed naming one of the three current assistant superintendents to the interim position, all having indicated they would accept the additional responsibility. But it turns out that both former Assistant Superintendent for Business & Finance Maria Gistinger and former Assistant Superintendent for Curriculum & Instruction Laura Surrey are available and have expressed an interest in the temporary position.

Board Vice President Alicia Reid emphasized that the school district needs someone with extensive experience in the district, as she put it, “someone who can hit the ground running and doesn’t have a large learning curve.” Reid added that with Gistinger or Surrey at the helm, the three current assistant superintendents could continue to do their jobs without being burdened with too many additional duties.

Board Secretary Roger Myers stated it would be a win-win situation no matter which one of the two was hired, saying, “Either…would do well, with their wealth of knowledge and experience.” The board also briefly discussed the salary range of the next permanent superintendent, finally reaching informal consensus on a range of $175,000-$195,000 per year as the base salary. The board hopes to have a new superintendent with a signed contract sometime this fall, if not earlier. The district recently hired the Michigan Leadership Institute to perform the search at a base fee of $6,500.

Board President Andy Burchfield said he would talk to both Gistinger and Surrey to see how much they would require in compensation, and would bring the information back to the board Wednesday for a vote. Although the board is scheduled to meet only in workshop session, it was brought out that an action item to hire someone to take on the interim superintendent’s position could easily be added to the agenda. Wednesday’s session will start at 6 p.m., an hour earlier than regular meetings. Like all meetings during the COVID-19 pandemic, it will take place online, and may be joined by the public by following the instructions on the district website