By Ivan Raconteur
LESTER PRAIRIE, MN Superintendent Mike McNulty’s last day working at Lester Prairie Schools will be Tuesday, June 30.
He announced Feb. 19 he has accepted a position at Aspen Academy, a k-8 charter school in Prior Lake.
The Lester Prairie School Board will need to find a new superintendent as soon as possible.
McNulty said the district will need to approve a new teacher contract this year, and the first meeting in that process took place Wednesday.
Lester Prairie is not the only district seeking superintendent candidates. McNulty noted a number of districts that have posted vacancies.
Contracts for the district’s business office staff will also be up this year.
McNulty said the district has already posted the superintendent vacancy.
McNulty said his experience at Lester Prairie Schools has been a positive one.
He was hired in 2009, as superintendent and secondary principal.
The district made some organizational changes in 2012, and McNulty took on the sole role of superintendent, with Jeremy Schmidt hired as principal.
McNulty said things that the district has accomplished during his time as superintendent include technology improvements, implementation of a new teacher evaluation program, improvements in staff development, and the addition of the College in the Schools program.
McNulty said he is looking forward to his new position.
He noted Aspen Academy is slightly larger than Lester Prairie, with about 550 students, compared to about 420 k-12 students in Lester Prairie.
Aspen Academy is growing, and facing expansion, McNulty said, and he looks forward to helping the school make technology improvements.
Money was a factor in McNulty’s decision to seek a new position. He noted the board did not grant any of his requests during his most recent contract negotiations.
He said his new salary will be $20,000 to $25,000 higher in his new position.
The Lester Prairie School Board approved a new contract with McNulty in December.
Under the contract, the district’s 401k contribution increased from $2,200 to $2,500 annually.
McNulty’s salary increased from $92,000 to $95,000 for 2015-16; to $97,000 for 2016-17; and to $99,000 for 2017-18; resulting in increases of 3.26 percent, 2.11 percent, and 2.06 percent, respectively.
McNulty said moving to a k-8 school will eliminate his after-school and evening duties, which will allow him to spend more time with his family.