HJ/EDApril 10, 2006

Jeff Powers named DC superintendent

By Kristen Miller
Staff Writer

The Dassel Cokato school board concluded its superintendent search last Monday by choosing current DC Middle School Principal Jeff Powers for the position.

Powers and the board have yet to negotiate a contract, but Chairman Kevin Dahlman anticipates no conflicts, he said.

The board was satisfied with the process and received good input from its “stakeholders,” he said.

And although the process was difficult, the board was ultimately satisfied with the candidate chosen, Dahlman stated.

During the process, three spokespersons were delegated to represent the questions from the public, staff, and administration.

Steve Benda, spokesperson for the public, applauded the school board’s efforts in making such a decision as well as the community input, he said.

Benda outlined to the public what questions were appropriate to ask.

Some of the most popular questions were elaborating more on the character pillars, and what assets the candidates would bring to the table to support the DC district during the upcoming levy.

“I feel strongly for Jeff, he was a solid performer,” Benda said.

Sara Nelson, high school math teacher and president for the DC Education Association, was spokesperson for the staff.

Nelson described the process as thorough and added that there were three “highly qualified candidates,” but Powers “is a good choice to build on DC’s past successes as well as looking into the future.”

Some questions asked by the staff were: how would the candidates foster teamwork within the district, and how would they would lead a successful campaign this fall.

Cokato principal and administrative spokesperson for the interviews, Lorene Force said the process was in-depth, with community and school involvement.

With the amount of questions asked, they got to know the candidates well, Force said.

Each candidate did well under a “rigorous” interview process, but Force believes Powers has the skills and abilities needed during this critical time with budget reductions and growing enrollments, she said.

School Board Treasurer Brian Danielson agreed with the way the interview process was handled. With the community and staff involved, “this is the way we should always do it,” he said.

He feels there was a good selection of candidates, and even though Powers doesn’t have experience as superintendent, he has experience in the district and will be a quick learner, Danielson said.

Powers is ready for a new challenge as superintendent, and is excited for the potential of the district, he said.

Powers looks forward to the future, including completing his goals of transitioning to his new position, expanding his knowledge of the district, and preparing for the referendum in the fall, he said.

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