The LeSabre

The LeSabre

The LeSabre

School board completes search on next superintendent

Dr. Rivard is chosen to be the next superintendent of the Sartell St. Stephen school district.
Parker Peichel
Sartell-St. Stephen school district has chosen its next superintendent.

The Sartell-St. Stephen school district has spent the last year searching for their next superintendent, and they have finally found their guy. Dr. Michael Rivard was the candidate chosen, and he has a résumé full of experience.

Dr. Michael Rivard who has been chosen to be our next superintendent. (Parker Peichel)

Currently, Dr. Rivard serves as the St. Cloud district’s assistant superintendent.  I had the chance to sit down and talk with Dr. Rivard about some of his future plans as superintendent, and I was able to learn a little bit more about Michael Rivard, the person.

The first thing I learned when I visited Mike was that he is one of the most humble and genuine people I have ever met. He greeted me with a huge smile (something that I learned quite quickly he does any time he walks into a room) and shook my hand and brought me up to his office. Before we even started the interview, we sat and chatted about some of our personal experiences and plans. He asked me what grade I was in and when I told him he asked me about my plans after high school. I told him I was planning to join the Marines and from there we were immediately able to connect over his past military experience in the Army and my future in the Marines. After talking for about twenty minutes about that, I was able to ask him my first question.

I was curious about some of his past experiences and how he became interested in school administration. He told me he enlisted in the military right after high school and spent six years in the Army reserves. While in the reserves, he was attending school and that was when he really found that he was interested in the education field. He started out as a clinical social worker and did that for just over a decade. As a social worker, he worked with kids on both social and emotional levels. His next job would be as a special education teacher for a year, and after that he would become principal at Oak Hill Community School for a decade. His next venture would be what he is doing now as the assistant superintendent of the St. Cloud school district.

I enlisted because I was very interested in how service can be connected to everything in life. While in the Army, I recognized that service opportunities would open up for me, and I wanted to see how I could open up opportunities for other people.” 

— Dr. Rivard on what he could take to this new job from what he learned in the Army

That was what brought him into or towards a career in education.

Rivard is also no stranger to our community. He has lived in the area for over twenty years, and his kids have come up through the Sartell-St.Stephen school district. Mike said that he has had a wonderful experience living in Sartell. During his school board interview, one of the questions that he was asked was if he could paint a picture for the board about his time in Sartell. He talked about going back all the way to when he first stood at the bus stop with his kids for the first time, and his experiences with his wonderful neighbors. Mike has been involved in plenty of extracurricular activities whether it be participating in community education or being part of athletics and other activities.

That push towards excellence for kids and our students…and engaging with families to making family a part of the school system…that draws me to want to lead and be a part of the Sartell-St. Stephen schools.”

— Dr. Rivard on what made him want to be the superintendent of the Sartell-St. Stephen school district.

Rivard explains that the opportunity of watching kids get excited about participation and all the things that our schools have to offer is a passion for him. He finds an excitement in reaching out to the community, being a leader in the community, and being a part of families seeing what their kids can do.

One of the things that Rivard wants to continue when he comes here is the high graduation rates and keeping kids excited about the community.

He plans to be an attentive listener and believes that one of the most important things about being a superintendent is listening during the first year. The importance of being available and accessible to the board and community is something is a trait that he thinks he will be able to bring to Sartell.

The adults and community are here for you, that we care about you, that we want you to be successful, and passionate in what you are trying acheive but in any point in time we are ready to help you in that journey.”

— Dr. Rivard on what he wanted to say to oncoming students

Rivard ended our interview with a question for me.  He asked what excited me most about my experience as someone who is graduating.  He wanted to know what I looked back on as very positive in the Sartell-St. Stephen schools. I told him that the most positive things in my experiences were with my friends, my experiences with the wonderful teachers and the many opportunities that our schools give us.

On top of interviewing Dr. Rivard I was able to interview his daughter Hannah. I asked her what her thoughts are about her dad becoming the next Sartell-St. Stephen school district superintendent.

SHS senior Hannah Rivard who is also Dr. Rivard’s daughter shares her thoughts on her dad becoming superintendent. (Parker Peichel)

I am incredibly proud of my dad becoming the school’s superintendent. He’s always been my hero, and now he gets to inspire our whole community. He will bring passion, dedication, and a love to education for our students and families.”

— Hannah Rivard on her thoughts of her dad becoming superintendent.

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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