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Pequot Lakes School Board hires interim superintendent as the district's full-time leader

The Pequot Lakes School Board voted unanimously to offer Kurt Stumpf the full-time superintendent position.

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Kurt Stumpf joined the Pequot Lakes School District, with the intention to apply for the full-time position when possible. Here, he stands in front of the school Monday, Aug. 23, 2021. Dan Determan / Echo Journal
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Kurt Stumpf can remove the word "interim" from his title as Pequot Lakes School District superintendent.

After more than four hours of interviews and deliberations, the Pequot Lakes School Board voted unanimously to offer Stumpf the full-time superintendent position Monday night, Jan. 3.


"I want to thank the school board for the opportunity to continue working with the students, staff and community in this great district. I'm excited for the present and future of the Pequot Lakes School District."

— Kurt Stumpf


Stumpf has served as the district’s interim superintendent since July, replacing Chris Lindholm who had served for eight years in the district. In a recent evaluation of his performance, the board agreed Stumpf has done an “excellent job of integrating with the community, staff and students.”

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“I want to thank the school board for the opportunity to continue working with the students, staff and community in this great district,” Stumpf said in an email. “I'm excited for the present and future of the Pequot Lakes School District.”

In addition to Stumpf, the board interviewed St. Charles Public Schools Principal Benjamin Bernard and Robbinsdale Cooper High School Principal Frank Herman during Monday's special meeting. Board members agreed Stumpf was “the obvious choice” given his previous superintendent experience and his integration into the community.

“I do think we had a couple of very good candidates that were up there with Mr. Stumpf, but this was a super unique process,” board member Kim Bolz-Andolshek said. “This board went through a search very quickly, in a really neat manner this summer. I'm grateful that we went through this process with stakeholders and we got community input. I think based on a lot of what our community, our board and our stakeholders have said are important to them, we have a candidate that's on the table right now that does align with that.”


"We believe Kurt has the qualifications and skills needed to lead Pequot Lakes Public Schools. We feel he will come into the position with an open mind, ready to listen, and committed to moving the district forward."

— Kim Bolz-Andolshek


Board members indicated they were impressed with Stumpf’s authenticity and his efforts to not over-complicate matters, as well as him repeatedly expressing a desire to “focus on the kids” during his one-hour interview.

“We believe Kurt has the qualifications and skills needed to lead Pequot Lakes Public Schools. We feel he will come into the position with an open mind, ready to listen, and committed to moving the district forward,” Bolz-Andolshek said in a news release. “We look forward to continuing to work with him.”

Stumpf hopes his hiring will make for an even smoother transition, and hopes to stay the course in the second half of his first year in Pequot Lakes.

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“The goals for the second half of the year will remain the same, which revolve around meeting the needs of each and every student,” he said. “While removing the ‘interim’ title is exciting, the focus on continuing to build an awesome school district and support our students remains.”

The school board will conduct contract negotiations with Stumpf, and a contract is expected to be approved at the board's next regular school board meeting.

Dan Determan may be reached at 218-855-5879 or dan.determan@pineandlakes.com. Follow him on Facebook and on Twitter at www.twitter.com/@PEJ_Dan.

Dan Determan has been a reporter for the Echo Journal since 2014, primarily covering sports at Pequot Lakes and Pine River-Backus
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