The Crosslake Community School Board has narrowed its search for a new director to three candidates, including two who currently work at the school and one who works at a St. Paul charter school, according to an email from school board chair Lori Scharenbroich.

The board interviewed four candidates Thursday and Friday, Nov. 7-8: Philip Grant, Cliff Skaagen, Annette Klang and Jill Arendt. Klang is a grades 1-2 teacher at Crosslake Community School, and Arendt is the school's director of student life.

The board conducted a second interview with Skaagen on Friday, Nov. 15, to get to know him better and planned to deliberate immediately afterward to determine the next steps to take.

Scharenbroich wrote that in the board's deliberations and review of those candidates after the final interview Nov. 8, board members realized that the two internal candidates (Klang and Arendt) are informally known or well known to most board members as well as through their application documents and their interviews, while Skaagen was known to board members only through written application documents and his formal interview Nov. 7 at the school.

As a result, the board decided to pause the search process to gather additional information about Skaagen to be able to make fair and valid comparisons of the experience, training and less formal aspects of each of the three candidates, as a person and as an educator.

Skaagen was onsite at Crosslake Community School on Friday, Nov. 15. The board planned small interviews with select groups of staff, an interaction with students and with Lake Foundation members, Scharenbroich wrote.

A second round of candidate interviews was not held Wednesday, Nov. 13, as had been tentatively scheduled

Current Director Todd Lyscio announced in August he plans to retire at the end of the year. The position was posted for approximately six weeks and the board received 10 qualified applicants. From that pool of candidates a board sub-committee, working with an education search consultant, identified six applicants for full board consideration.

Ultimately, this resulted in interviews at the school with four of those candidates, Scharenbroich wrote.