6/23/20 Special Meeting
The following is an informal summary of the meeting.
The school board held a special meeting to discuss the process to fill two key leadership positions in the district - the superintendent and assistant superintendent. Earlier this month, assistant superintendent Dr. Bob McDowell left the district to become superintendent of Hasting Public Schools. At its June 11 meeting, the board entered into a separation agreement with superintendent Denise Pontrelli effective June 30. Per state law, the district is required to have someone with a superintendent’s license in employment at all times.
Vote on interim superintendent candidate expected on Thursday night
The school board discussed offering the interim superintendent position to Afton-Lakeland Elementary’s principal, Malinda Lansfeldt, one of the most senior administrators in the district. The board is expected to take action on this item at Thursday night’s regular board meeting, and if approved, would give the board chair and clerk direction to negotiate a contract and bring it back for final approval at a special meeting next week. If a contract is approved, Lansfeldt would begin her new position on July 2 and serve in the role for a period of up to one year or until the district hires a permanent superintendent, whichever comes first.
Permanent superintendent search
The board also discussed a process to select a permanent superintendent. The board chairperson will reach out to superintendent search firms to request proposals, which will be brought to the school board for consideration. It is likely that, due to terms of superintendent contacts, the actual selection of a new superintendent wouldn’t happen until the spring with a start date of July 1, 2021.
Assistant superintendent hiring process
The board voted to approve a process to hire an assistant superintendent. The board’s approved process directs each board member to review all 16 applications and provide their top 8 candidates to the district’s Executive Director of Administrative Services, Cathy Moen. An interview committee of district staff, parent and students representatives, and a board member will narrow the candidates down to several finalists, who will be invited back for final interviews. Top candidates identified through the interview process will be presented to the school board to make a final selection.