The LeSabre

The LeSabre

The LeSabre

Sartell-St.Stephen’s search for a superintendent: update

Sartell completes search for their next superintendent after processing and deliberating for five hours.
Parker Peichel
Sartell-St. Stephen school board makes their final decision on the next superintendent.

NOTE: Before I get into it, I would like to shoutout Barb Dorn who was the director of leadership development and executive search at Minnesota School Board Association aka MSBA. Barb helped by getting all the quality candidates together and sending me some pictures of the candidates to use in my articles, as well as getting me the information to reach out to all of the candidates. I would also like to give a shoutout to the members at MSBA who helped make everything possible.

The Sartell-St.Stephen school board met for their second round of interviews last night and made their final decision on who shall be the next superintendent. It was a lengthy process that took over eight hours for just this one meeting. They started the interviews with Tim Rohweder and then Dr. Michael Rivard and finished off with Dr. Kurt Stumpf. Each candidate interviewed quite strongly and the overall view of the candidates was positive.

From my view of the second round of interviews not much had changed from the views of the public, the views of the board, and the answers given by the candidates. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing, but I was personally hoping for something new and different that we hadn’t heard before.

Sartell High School senior and student committee member Isabelle Schlangen who has been actively following the superintendent search. (Parker Peichel)

I interviewed Isabelle Schlangen on what she thought of the second round of interviews. Isabelle was another interested student attendee who stayed the entire time and one of the 16 stakeholders who helped in the decision. Isabelle said she learned more about the candidates’ past experiences and qualifications to be our next superintendent.

All of the board members were very strong set on certain candidates and not willing to compromise.”

— Isabelle Schlangen on why it took so long to choose a candidate.








Along with interviewing Isabelle I was able to interview her sister. Emily was also at all of the school board meetings and was one of the stakeholders.

SHS sophomore Emily Schlangen shares her thought on the interview process for our next superintendent. (Parker Peichel)

The Superintendent Search contained lots of deliberating and I think I speak for lots of people when I say they were happy once a consensus was is reached.”

— Emily Schlangen on the lengthy search for the next superintendent.

On the stakeholder survey results that were available that night, it said that 67% of the school board preferred prior superintendent experience; whereas, for the other stakeholders it was only 57%. In that survey, members of the community were asked to rank the most important qualities to have in your next superintendent and the top four were as follows #1 collaborative leadership #2 curriculum development/evaluation #3 budget and finance #4 personnel management.

The school board took a recess after listening to the second round of interviews and planned to start deliberating after. Once they returned, they would address the stats from the survey and the notes made by the stakeholders before they started their deliberation. After that, they started discussing things each board member liked and disliked about each candidate. Some members felt strongly about one candidate and would be skeptical about the others, so it didn’t seem as though a decision would be made any time soon.

The board mostly went back and forth on two different candidates and ended up taking a few short intermissions to regroup their thoughts. At certain points in the meeting, it didn’t feel like a team pulling in one direction but a group of individuals all pulling in a different direction.

I think if you asked any of the board members, they would say it wasn’t an easy decision and that they had plenty of good options but are hopeful for the future with the decision they made.

In the end, the board was able to agree on Dr. Michael Rivard with a 6-0 vote that would take almost four hours of deliberating. The meeting would adjourned at around one am on March 12 signifying the end of their search.

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About the Contributor
Parker Peichel
Parker Peichel, Journalist
Grade: Senior Hobbies: Football, wrestling, basketball, corn hole, fishing Nick Name: P-Shine Dream Car: Camaro Celebrity Crush: Florence Pugh