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Grand Rapids Schools superintendent finalist for opening in New York

Dr. Bernard Taylor Jr. has been with GRPS for five years.
Grand Rapids Public Schools
Dr. Bernard Taylor Jr. has been with GRPS for five years.

Grand Rapids Public Schools’ Superintendent Dr. Bernard Taylor is one of two finalists for an opening at a school district in New York.

Grand Rapids school board president Senita Lenear would not comment on the matter, but read a written statement. She said the news came as a surprise. She congratulated Dr. Taylor on the opportunity she says would “provide professional advancement and growth potential” and allow him to be closer to his family.

"Regardless of the outcome, we look forward to continuing our work with Dr. Taylor to build upon the five consecutive years of improvement and academic gains under his leadership. At this time, we will not be commenting or speculating about next steps for the board of education until the Syracuse process is complete."

Taylor told Lenear he expects to know Syracuse's decision by the end of the week. A Syracuse district spokesman would not confirm thier timeline.

Grand Rapids Public Schools is Michigan’s third largest school district.

Since Taylor took over GRPS five years ago, nearly 60% more schools in the district are meeting federal ‘no child left behind’ standards (26 to now 45 schools meeting 'adequate yearly progress').

He’s also instituted sometimes controversial new models for instructing students, like online learning and grouping students by interest at ‘hub’ schools.

Taylor will be the guest at a public reception in Syracuse, New York tonight.

Lindsey Smith is a Peabody Award-winning journalist currently leading the station's Amplify Team. She previously served as Michigan Public's Morning News Editor, Investigative Reporter and West Michigan Reporter.