Four special Brighton Board of Education meetings are scheduled in the coming week to interview the six candidates who will be interviewed for the vacant superintendent’s position.

There were originally over 20 candidates who applied for the post in what Board President Andy Burchfield says is an “excellent” field of applicants. After an initial round of interviews, the field was narrowed down to six semi-finalists. The procedure to be followed will be to interview two candidates per evening: the first two tonight, two more on Tuesday, and the last two on Wednesday. The meeting on Friday, Aug. 21st, will be to determine the finalists. The meetings will be in-person for board members and online for the public, which is asked to go to the district website - - for information on how to join the meeting online. The meetings will be held at 6 p.m. at the Brighton Education and Community Center (BECC) except for the meeting on the 21st, which will be held at 5 p.m.

The superintendent’s position became available when former Superintendent Greg Gray retired effective June 30th after 11 years of service. Laura Surrey, the former district assistant superintendent for curriculum and instruction, accepted the interim superintendent position and began her duties on July 1st. Although the board expects to have a new superintendent on board by late October, Surrey indicated informally she would be willing to work until the end of the year if she is needed.

Only one of the candidates is a BAS employee; current Brighton Area Schools Assistant Superintendent for Labor Relations and Personnel Sharon Irvine. She has held the position since July 1st of last year, having been hired to fill a job that, due to lack of a qualified person to fulfill the role, was being performed by Gray. Most recently, before coming to Brighton, Irvine was assistant superintendent of the Warren Consolidated School District, which has an enrollment of over 14,000, compared to Brighton’s approximately 6,000 students.

The interview schedule for the six semi-finalist candidates:

• 6:00 - Sarah Barratt, Superintendent, Marlette Community Schools, Marlette, MI
• 7:40 - Gary Kinzer, Assistant Superintendent of Human Resources, Novi Community School District, Novi, MI

• 6:00 - Jennifer Hammond, Executive Director of Academic Services, Muskegon Public Schools, Muskegon, MI
• 7:40 - Benjamin Mainka, Superintendent, Swartz Creek Community Schools, Swartz Creek, MI

• 6:00 - Sharon Irvine, Assistant Superintendent of Labor Relations & Personnel, Brighton Area Schools, Brighton, MI
• 7:40 - Matthew Outlaw, Superintendent, Brandon School District, Ortonville, MI

5 p.m. - Finalists Determined

Tuesday & Wednesday, Sept. 1 & 2 at 7p.m. — special board meetings — finalists interviews