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LP School Board selects superintendent finalists
May 10, 2019

Ivan Raconteur

Lester Prairie School Board is one step closer to naming the district’s next superintendent.

During Tuesday’s meeting, the board followed the recommendation of the Minnesota School Boards Association (MSBA), which it had contracted to help with recruiting the next superintendent, and selected five finalists.

The finalists are:

• Dennis Fischer, superintendent of the Platte County School District in Wheatland, WY (via Skype).

• Michelle Mortensen, superintendent of the Renville West School District.

• Melissa Radeke, director of teaching & learning/middle school principal at Windom Area Schools.

• Wayne Whitwam, principal at Centennial School District in Circle Pines.

• Beth Zeitz, former superintendent of the Parshall School District in Parshall, ND.

The initial pool included 22 candidates, two of whom withdrew before Monday’s meeting.

The next phase will begin this afternoon, starting at 4 p.m., when the school board will interview the finalists.

The schedule includes Fischer at 4:01 p.m. and Zeitz at 5:15 p.m., followed by a dinner break.

Friday’s interview schedule will conclude with Whitwam at 7 p.m.

Interviews will continue Saturday morning with Mortensen at 9:01 a.m. and Radeke at 10:30 a.m.

The board will break for lunch at 11:30 a.m., while the MSBA compiles the results of the interviews.

The meeting will reconvene at noon. Information from the board, staff, and community interview teams will be discussed.

The board will then select the candidate or candidates who will be called back for a second interview Wednesday, May 15.

The board will also finalize the second-round interview questions, schedule, and procedures.

Final steps during Saturday’s meeting will include discussing and selecting reference check questions, and determining and scheduling the remaining steps for the hiring process.

All interviews will take place in the school media center and are open to the public.

The times and interview order are subject to change.

Although MSBA recommends second interviews, the board could decide to skip that step.

Odds and ends

In other business, the board:

• approved a contract with MLA Architect.

• approved Amy Hoese-Schultz as a special education paraprofessional.

• approved Angela Hoover as a Little Learners paraprofessional.

• approved Jonathan Koehler as secondary language arts teacher.

• accepted the resignation of Janelle Afrasiab as business and Spanish teacher.

• approved a one-year contract with NIS for consulting services related to employee health insurance, with an option for a second year.

• approved a contract with Eide Bailly for financial audit of statements.

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