KPS board again hires Sandy on interim basis

Dennis Mansfield, Contributing Writer

Courtesy photo

Lee Sandy



KALKASKA – With its top administrator embroiled in defending himself against criminal charges, the Kalkaska Public Schools Board of Education turned to a familiar face to help guide the local school district for the foreseeable future.

KPS board members voted unanimously at their regular monthly meeting May 13 to hire veteran administrator Lee Sandy as “interim superintendent,” and to serve as the district’s top executive while Supt. Terry Starr is on indefinite leave.

The school board moved to place Starr on paid administrative leave in mid-April and appointed Kalkaska Middle School principal Staci Short as acting superintendent after Starr, who took over as the district’s top administrator in July 2018, was arrested on felony charges for allegedly falsely reporting a felony and failure to report child abuse. The charges date back to his tenure at Elk Rapids Public Schools.

But, with no quick conclusion to Starr’s legal battle in sight, KPS board members took the next step to allow Short to focus on her duties as principal by hiring, or rehiring, Sandy on an interim basis. It’s a role that Sandy should be comfortable with, because he served KPS in the very same role from 2006 to 2014.

“The board wanted to maximize our district resources and utilize building principals where they are most needed – with their students,” said Rachel Birgy, KPS board president.

Sandy brings with him a resume that spans nearly five decades, with the interim administrator having started his teaching career in 1966 with Vestaburg Community Schools. He’s held administrative positions with neighboring Forest Area Community Schools, as well as in the Pine River and Waldron school districts.

After a his ‘first’ retirement from education and working as an arbitrator and architectural firm consultant, Sandy has since served in interim roles in Au Gres-Sims, Saginaw Township, Leland, Gladwin, Beal City, Fairview, Baldwin, Onekama and Kalkaska – now twice.

“Lee is a wealth of knowledge, having many years of experience as an educator and also as a former superintendent for KPS,” Birgy said. “Our district is strong with many great accomplishments and we trust he will keep us heading in the right direction.”

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