Public gets input into superintendent search process

Chuck Kajer

Managing Editor

About a dozen people turned out at a meeting in New Prague Thursday, with three more at a similar meeting in New Market, where community members could offer input into what qualities they would like to see in the next superintendent for the New Prague Area Schools.

Norm Miller of ADM Consultants, which is conducting the search for the new superintendent, convened the meetings in New Prague and New Market. No one showed up at a third meeting in Lonsdale.

After being introduced by school board chair Dan Carlson in New Prague and by board member Bob Reed in New Market, Miller explained that this was the last in a series of meetings he had conducted over the previous week. He held separate meetings with teaching staff, administrators, support staff and individual board members to get their beliefs on what qualities the new superintendent should have.

Early in the New Market meeting, one person commented that she had heard some members of the board had already decided on the candidate they wanted. Miller said he could put an end to that speculation, because former New Prague High School principal Dr. Mark Bezek had just signed a contract that day to become superintendent of the Elk River school district. Bezek had been superintendent at Fergus Falls.

Miller first asked those present about the district’s strengths and challenges facing the district. Among the strengths listed were a solid administrative staff and good people working in the district. It was also pointed out that the district was educationally sound, with good test scores.

Among the challenges facing the district was leadership change, a resistance to change by some long-time residents, growth and the desire to maintain and improve on programming while facing that growth. Other challenges listed included the school board’s perceived lack of success at engaging the public and differences among school board members regarding the district’s vision.

Among the qualities members of the public would like to see are charisma, communication skills and someone who is open and honest. Good listening skills and conviction were also qualities that were listed.

Miller will use the information gathered at those meetings to come up with a profile of what people would like to see in the next superintendent and develop selection criteria.

Miller also presented a revised search schedule at the meeting. Advertising and recruiting of a new superintendent will continue through June 30. Applicants will be screened during the first week in July, with the first interviews held July 10-19. Board members will conduct community visits from July 24-28, and final interviews will be held August 1-4. The board is expected to make its final selection no later than August 15, and are hoping for an August 28 start date, though Miller said depending on their situation, the new superintendent might not be able to start until some time in September.

Suel Printing Company

Copyright © Suel Printing Company
All Rights Reserved
200 Main St E
New Prague, MN 56071

Phone: 952-758-4435
Fax: 952-758-4135

Latest articles

Fri, 05/25/2018 - 5:17pm
Fri, 05/25/2018 - 3:42pm
Fri, 05/25/2018 - 3:25pm
Fri, 05/25/2018 - 12:53pm

Please Login for Premium Content