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BEA wants new superintendent by April 1

By Staff | Jan 20, 2019

The current Blue Earth Area School Board is pictured above, left to right, Jeremy Coxworth, Susie Rosenau, Sara Hauskins, Kyle Zierke, Stacey Beyer, Susan Benz and Frankie Bly. They held their first meeting of the year this past week. One major item on their agenda is the search for a new superintendent. The goal is to complete the candidate interviews and offer a contract to a new superintendent by April 1.

Less than a month after hiring an interim superintendent, the Blue Earth Area School Board initiated the process of finding a qualified individual to fill the position of full-time superintendent.

The board voted to hire the South Central Service Cooperative (SCSC) to aid in the search and selection of a candidate to fill the position.

SCSC is the same group utilized by the board in the search for an interim superintendent.

Harold Remme, who worked with the board through the process of hiring Dr. Jerry Jensen as interim superintendent, was present at the board meeting to preview the proposed timeline and parameters for the search.

A notice of the opening was to be posted immediately with the position remaining open for applications through Feb. 28.

The candidates will go through a screening process which will take place during the first two weeks of March. The first round of interviews will also take place at this time.

Final interviews and an offer of employment from the School Board would be completed by March 16-22 with the goal of approving a new superintendent contract by April 1.

The search for a full-time superintendent will involve more input from community members, teachers, students and current administrators, according to Remme.

Jensen updated the board on the sale of the former Winnebago High School.

According to Jensen, the deal is close to being completed. The Blue Earth Area School District utilized the services of a professional firm to take care of a mold problem in one of the former locker rooms.

The elevators just need to be powered up, they were disconnected so that kids could not play with them. They have been inspected and should be ready to go, Jensen said. There is also a need to identify which equipment stays with the building after the sale.

Scott Robertson, a Winnebago resident, was in attendance representing a core leadership committee involved with finding new uses for the former school. This committee was recently organized with the help of the Southern Minnesota Initiative Foundation (SMIF). Robertson expressed the desire for this deal to get completed so that the committee could apply for funding from the state legislature.

Robertson also informed the board of a meeting to be held on Feb. 23. The meeting will be for a Strategic Planning Session concerning the former Winnebago High School.

Tours of the school will begin at 8 a.m., followed by an acton forum beginning at 9 a.m. The purpose of the meeting will be to outline the community’s assets, determine potential projects and design a plan moving forward. SMIF will award up to $20,000 to the best project identified.

Jensen outlined some goals he has while he serves as the interim superintendent to ensure that he is on the same track as the School Board.

Those goals include providing a seamless transition between superintendents, helping prepare new board members so they may be effective while serving on the board and providing leadership and support to the administrative team.

Jensen stated he will also assist in the search for a new superintendent and give guidance in the development of the budget.

Finally, Jensen said he wanted to be visible and available in the community by attending ball games and other school events to ensure that the community has access to him.

In other business:

Susan Benz was elected board chair and Frankie Bly was elected as vice-chairman. Susie Rosenau was elected to the position of clerk and Jeremy Coxworth was voted in as treasurer (however a special meeting has been called for Jan. 21 to consider the selection of a new board treasurer).

A resolution was passed directing the administration to make recommendations for reductions in programs and positions. It was stressed this does not mean any cuts will happen but is something the board needs to do to allow for possible actions which could become necessary.