Superintendent Markavitch to stay until 2024
By Don Rush
This past December the Oxford School District announced it would hire Dr. Vickie Markavitch as Interim Superintendent. She started January 9 and was supposed to work here through the end of June. All that changed at the Feb. 28 Oxford School Board meeting.
The board approved extending her contract through the 2023-2024 school year. The motion was made by board member Erin Reis and supported by Amanda McDonough. The vote was a unanimous one, with all voting in favor.
“We had had some conversations about starting the recruiting process and what it was going to look like,” board vice president Heather Shaffer said. “Obviously we have an interim superintendent who in a very short time has moved things along and has a wealth of knowledge and experience. We started talking about what we wanted for our district. I said I thought we were all just looking for some stability for our staff. We are going on our fifth superintendent in six months, and that is never good. We wanted to create that stability for staff, students and our schools. We asked her (Markavitch) and she agreed to stay on for another year.”
Shaffer said she thought extending Markavitch’s contract made sense because Guidepost’s report on the Nov. 30, 2021 shooting is expected to come out in the spring, also because the board has three new members (McDonough, James Sommers and Mike Whitney), “And this will be their first superintendent search. It’s a very intensive process. This will give them a little more time to understand what their roles are and what the role of a superintendent is. It’s hard to recruit for a position that you haven’t worked with before,” Shaffer said. “The next superintendent hopefully will be a longer term situation and we want and deserve the best. I don’t want to just settle and I don’t want us to be in a position to do so.”
Board president Dan D’Alessandro added, “When we talked to MLI (recruiter firm Michigan Leadership Institute), it was probably going to be a situation where superintendents will shy away from this particular opportunity right now. Building that stability was really, really important. We have to look forward for this position. We have to look forward when we look for our next superintendent – even though the ink isn’t even dry on this contract. We have to have a firm foundation in this district so that it is attractive to a number of different candidates. Not just a couple that come at it like, ‘oh, I’ll give Oxford a try.’ We don’t want to be in a position where someone is trying us out. We want to get back to where we were. Get back to the beacon that we were before. I am confident we can stabilize with Vickie. This will also give everybody on this board the opportunity to find out what they are looking for, too.”
He said hiring a superintendent was “daunting” but he was happy to keep Markavitch for another year.
Prior to becoming the interim superintendent in Oxford, Dr. Markavitch served as the superintendent of Oakland County Schools for 11 years supporting all 26 Oakland County public school districts. Before that, she served as the superintendent for three different school districts: Penn-Harris-Madison in Indiana, Niles Township High School District outside of Chicago, IL, and Skokie School District in Illinois.
(Editor’s Note: In 2022 the school district had two superintendents, Tim Throne and Ken Weaver, plus two interim superintendents Anita Qonja-Collins and Dr. Vickie Maravitch.)