“This is an awkward moment.”
This is how BPS superintendent Dr. David Larson addressed the community, in the March 20 school board meeting, after board president Susan Hill announced that Larson would be resigning after this year.
“I just want to say straight of that we, the board of education has had a wonderful relation with Dr. Larson,” Hill said during the board meeting, “We have worked in a spirit of collaboration, cooperation, mutual respect and we very much appreciate the leadership you have given this district.”
Larson is leaving Birmingham to become the superintendent of the Glenbard High School District 87. There he will oversee four high schools with a combined total of 9,000 students.
“The last four years here in Birmingham Public Schools have been incredible,” Larson said in a March 20 email to the community. “I have enjoyed getting to know the community and the many families that are part of this wonderful district.”
Larson’s resignation will be effective July 1, 2012.
According to a March 20 article in the Daily Harold, Glenbard District 87 board of education has agreed to a three year contract that will pay Larson $215,000 in the first year with an option for increase after the first year depending on performance evaluations. Larson currently has a Medicare wage of $198,271 as of 2010, according to the Birmingham Public Schools website.
“Dr. Larson had the personality, professionalism and diverse background that District 87 was looking for in a superintendent,” Glenbard District 87 School Board President Rich Heim told the Highlander. “He was a charismatic speaker as well as having over 12 years experience as a superintendent.”
Glenbard District 87 current Superintendent, Mike Meissen has served the superintendent position for six years.
“He established a strategic plan and continued to focus on moving the district forward and challenging the education of our students,” Heim said.
Larson has spent the past four years as the superintendent of Birmingham Public Schools and before those eight years as superintendent of Harbor Springs Public Schools.
“I think it’s a great loss for us,” Principal Deanna Lancaster said. “In his five years he has been here we have gone through some tremendous change and a real focused direction, particularly with 21st century teaching and learning and character education.”