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School board hears input on superintendent search

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The Pequot Lakes School Board’s search for a superintendent continued Monday night, March 4, with a personnel committee meeting and a public forum to hear what district residents would like to see in a superintendent.

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Ten to 15 staff members and residents attended the forum, which asked the group the same questions as the board’s online public survey.

That survey is still open and can be found at the district’s webpage, pequotlakes.k12.mn.us. Committee chair Kim Bolz-Andolshek said the committee had received 40 responses to the survey as of March 4.

Questions at the forum included what role the superintendent should play, the top characteristics of a superintendent, top priorities and interview questions the public would like to see asked.

The group made lists on each, and then each attendant marked what he or she saw as most important items on each list.

Approachability was a prominent theme, as was creating positive relationships with staff and team building. Attendants listed the desire for a visionary, someone with morals and ethics, someone who stays humble and someone with good visibility at school events.

Fiscal responsibility and building project completion and processes for use were also popular priorities.

During a personnel committee meeting just before the forum, the committee decided it will recommend the board continue posting for the superintendent position for roughly another two weeks, until just before the first round of interviews begins March 14.

They planned March 4 to recommend the board tweak the wording of the posting to say “superintendent experience preferred” rather than listing two years’ superintendent experience as a qualification.

The committee members said they have some candidates they wished to interview, but those candidates didn’t have two years of experience. In the interest of fairness, the committee will recommend to continue the posting so others who may not have applied because of the experience qualification will have a chance to do so.

Those measures had not been board approved, but were likely to meet approval at a board meeting at 7 p.m. Tuesday, March 5. A personnel committee meeting was slated just before the board meeting, at 6 p.m.

Updates from those meetings can be found at the Echo’s website, www.pineandlakes.com.

So far, the board has received 15 applications for the position of superintendent. Tentatively, the board has five candidates it would like to interview March 14.

The committee members discussed holding a second round of interviews later in the month, if they see the need. Finalist interviews will be held April 8 at a public meeting.

Bolz-Andolshek said the names of the candidates are still private due to data privacy.

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