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Wanted: USC superintendent

By Staff | Jan 24, 2016

The search for a superintendent has begun for United South Central Schools. And the process will be a quick one.

After a special meeting on Jan. 5, the USC School Board elected to enter into an agreement with South Central Service Cooperative to help with the superintendent search. This is the same group that helped the Blue Earth Area school district with its superintendent search, as well.

Harold Remme, a superintendent search consultant from SCSC, joined the board at their regular meeting last Tuesday evening to further the search process.

Remme, a retired superintendent himself, laid out a loose timeline for the board.

The search process timeline had USC advertising, recruiting, and accepting superintendent applications from Jan. 20 to Feb. 22, but that was a little too quick for the School Board.

The board scheduled a workshop meeting for this Wednesday to begin planning and creating a profile of attributes for the new superintendent.

The other factor the board had to decide on during this process was whether or not they wanted a full-time or part-time position for the new superintendent.

Dr. Jerry Jensen, current superintendent of USC, has held a part-time position with the school district since his hiring seven years ago.

The board voiced their opinions last week as to whether they would like to see full or part time.

“I think if we look at a part-time superintendent, advertising for a retired superintendent is the pool you’re going to draw from,” said board member Kathy Krebsbach. “We would draw retired superintendents who have an interest or younger superintendent candidates who lack experience and have no job offer in another district. I am in favor of advertising for full time.”

“I agree. We were very blessed to have Dr. Jensen as a part-time superintendent that was so involved and readily available and I’m almost positive he put in more hours than needed when it came to our district. Would we be lucky enough to find that again?” asked Steve Navara, another member of the USC School Board.

“When I was hired, part of the reasoning behind a part-time position was because we were in a different financial situation than we are in now,” said Dr. Jensen. “We are a bit more stable financially, which I think will only benefit us in the new search.”

“USC deserves a full-time superintendent,” said new chairman of the School Board, Dale Stevermer. “We deserve a superintendent who can meet the needs of our growing schools in our district, especially with all of the new challenges we are facing with our new building and the potential of new policies.”

“We could do well with a part-time position like we just did, we could hire an excellent first-time superintendent full time. I?can’t say one way or the other. I just know that with a part-time, more experienced candidate could have more to bring to the table.” said board member Tom Legred.

The board further discussed their opinions and unanimously agreed by role call vote to hire a full-time superintendent position, rather than a part-time or semi-retired position.

Once the ball gets rolling, however, it will not stop. The board, according to SCSC’s timeline, will have to screen candidates during the month of February to the beginning of March, and approve a new superintendent by mid-March.

“Granted, this is just a guide for time, but we will want to move the process along quickly and soon, if we want to have competitive candidates,” said Remme.