MARQUETTE - In a unanimous vote Wednesday, the Marquette-Alger Regional Educational Services Agency board of education decided to offer its top administrative position to current Marquette Area Public Schools Superintendent Deb Veiht.
Calling Veiht a "homegrown girl," the board said it felt her history in the area would be a boon to MARESA.
"She has the connections," said Trustee Steve Norman. "She can help us get our message out."
The board deliberated for roughly an hour before making its decision, and said it felt Veiht had great integrity, was a strong leader and had a good history of making collaborative decisions.
"Of course I'm very, very pleased," Veiht said this morning.
She said she is looking forward to sharing her talents, and helping MARESA in the fields of technology, curriculum, professional development and special education services.
Veiht has worked for MAPS for 27 years and has filled the role of MAPS superintendent for three years, including one as interim.
She was a teacher and principal at Vandenboom and Sandy Knoll elementary schools and, prior to being named interim superintendent, she was the MAPS assistant superintendent for a decade.
Veiht is a graduate of Marquette Senior High School and received both her undergraduate degree and masters from Northern Michigan University.
Veiht said it will be "fun to start from the ground up," but added that she will miss the connections she has made at MAPS.
"It's tough because I've been here and I've helped build a lot of things," she said. "It's kind of like being a mom. You know, at a certain time, it's time for you to go."
Veiht was up against downstate Alcona Community Schools Superintendent Shawn Thornton, who was interviewed by the board last week.
Site visits were conducted by board members Monday at both Veiht's and Thornton's districts.
After making its decision, the board scheduled a special meeting at 6:30 p.m. Wednesday to discuss a possible contract for Veiht.
Current MARESA Superintendent Steve Peffers will retire effective June 30. Veiht said she assumes her term of employment at MARESA will likely begin at the same time.