The Pine River-Backus School Board voted Tuesday, May 12, to offer a Brainerd School District elementary school principal the PR-B superintendent job.

At a special board meeting, Jonathan Clark, principal at Riverside Elementary School in Brainerd, was chosen from three finalists who were all interviewed earlier Tuesday for the superintendent vacancy, a PR-B School District news release said.

Staff/community input forums were held earlier in the day Tuesday and feedback provided to the board members before their final deliberations. The other two finalists were:

  • Michelle Mortensen, superintendent at Renville County West in Renville.
  • Michael Schmidt, principal of Staples-Motley High School.

The school board will conduct contract negotiations with Clark and a contract is expected to be approved at the board's Monday, May 18, regular board meeting.

A pending starting date for Clark is July 1.

Current Superintendent Dave Endicott, who has held that position the past four years, earlier this year announced his resignation effective June 30. Endicott previously was superintendent with the Walker-Hackensack-Akeley School District and principal at Eagle View Elementary School in Breezy Point.

The three finalists were selected from a pool of six semifinalists interviewed last week. The other three semifinalists were:

  • Charles Campbell, activities director at Brainerd High School.
  • Peter Haapala, former superintendent of Warroad Public Schools.

  • John Rutten, former head of Schools International Schools Group Dammam, Saudi Arabia.

The semifinalists were chosen from a pool of 17 applicants.

The public can view interviews with candidates at