School board sets process for selection of next superintendent

On October 29 the school board made the decision to open the position of superintendent for applications.

Superintendent Ken Engel asked to address the board before they made their decision and was allowed to express his belief that Betty Thomes, who is now the Project Leader for SIRF (Supplemental Irish Resource Fund), would be his choice of successor.

Ken outlined the choices the district had in choosing a superintendent, opening the position or appointing a person from within the district to fill the position.

Engel went on to list the qualifications Thomes would bring to the position and her understanding of the school district, its people and its finances.

“In my mind,” said Engel, “this is the most important decision this board will have to make. I know that you want the best for the district and believe you will do just that.”

Engel excused himself from the meeting at this point and left the board to discuss their choices.

“I think Ken is right (about Thomes),” said board member Chico Williams. “She is in the community, but I think we should open it up and if she’s the best one, then??”

“We don’t know if she’s the right one,” said Connie Munstenteiger, “and if we don’t open it up and try, we never will.”      After a brief discussion, the board decided that the position would be posted. Applications will be accepted through January 15 and a new superintendent should be named by February 28.     The board has also decided to do some preliminary investigations as to what area schools are paying their superintendents, what the job entails and whether the Minnesota School Board Association has any guidelines for hiring a superintendent.     A search committee will be organized which will include the school board, the two building principals, representatives from the elementary and high school teaching staff, office and union staff and the community. Anyone interested is encouraged to call Board Chair Arnie Michalicek (or any other board member).

In attendance were board members: Arnie Michalicek, Cherryl Williams, Ernie Puncochar, Chris Blade, Dave Gohman, Greg Mooney and Connie Munstenteiger. Also present were Superintendent Ken Engel and Andrea Stuhr.