‘I really look forward to being able to come back.
I’m absolutely thrilled to come back home.’
By ANDREA POTEET
Sunday Times Newspapers
RIVERVIEW — The Riverview Community Schools’ highest ranking position soon will be filled with a face familiar to many residents.
Longtime resident Russell Pickell is set to take over the superintendent position vacated by Dennis Desmarais, who will retire June 30.
The Board of Education approved a contract with Pickell at its April 12 meeting.
“I really look forward to being able to come back,” Pickell said at the meeting. “I’m absolutely thrilled to come back home.”
Pickell, 49, graduated from Riverview Community High School. Currently superintendent of Flat Rock Community Schools, he was one of five candidates for the job following the announcement that Desmarais would retire.
Seitz Middle School Principal Steve Hawley also was in the running for the position, and along with Pickell was one of two finalists. On March 15, the board unanimously approved hiring Pickell at a committee of the whole meeting.
Desmarais has been superintendent for the past five years.
The board approved Pickell’s three-year contract for $133,000 per year after a committee comprising Board President Robyn Vitale and Trustees John Price and Cindy Houdek met twice with Pickell in March to finalize the contract.
Pickell attended Riverview schools since the third grade, when his family moved to the city. He and his wife, Kristy, have three sons, who attend school in the district and are active in its athletic program.