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Tuesday, September 2nd, 2014
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Houston School District begins search for permanent superintendent


By Angie Rodenburg

Fri, Mar 28th, 2014
Posted in All Education

The Houston School Board’s search for a permanent superintendent is underway. A special school board meeting was called for March 20 in order to review the resumes of the seven candidates that applied for the position. Each board member shared their thoughts on each of the candidates in an effort to select those who would be invited to interview.

In the meeting, candidate names were kept confidential and each candidate was referenced by alphabetic assignment.

Candidate “A” had strong leadership experience in a school setting as well as certification in curriculum and instruction. However, board members were concerned that the candidate would not know Minnesota law and finance since he or she is from out of state. Also, this candidate had no superintendent experience.

Candidate “B” impressed Board Member Wilson with his or her science background. However, a lack of administrative experience and being from out of state were negatives for the board.

Candidate “C” impressed the board with his or her finance knowledge and charter school experience. This candidate also had some superintendent experience and is from Minnesota. The board also appreciated the candidate mentioning the MNVA by name, showing the specific research they had done on Houston.

Candidate “D” impressed board member Kelleher by their in depth knowledge of Houston Schools. The board also liked that the candidate was from Minnesota and had experience in grant writing. The candidate also had experience as a Director for Curriculum and Instruction. The candidate, however, did not have any superintendent experience.

Candidate “E” had a lot of superintendent experience, which was appreciated by the board; however, the experience was at a small school. This candidate also had advanced technical skills. The candidate; however, did not directly speak to the uniqueness of Houston Public Schools and was not from Minnesota.

Candidate “F” impressed the board with his or her experience as a business owner and consultant. They were also impressed by his or her technology experience.

Candidate “G” was a highly qualified candidate, according to board member Wilson. The candidate had leadership, management, and ILP experience. They also had experience with a big school. The candidate was from out of state, but had experience in the state as well. There was concern; however, that HPS would simply be a temporary stop for the candidate. Also, the uniqueness of Houston Schools was not addressed by the candidate.

After discussion, the school board narrowed the candidates down to four that will be invited to interview. The candidates chosen were: “C”, “D”, “F”, and “G”.

The interviews will not be held until April 15 and 16, due to the pre-planned trips of board members Kelleher and Evenson. The second round interviews scheduled for April 22 and 23 will be open to the public and have community involvement. The school board decided to ask each of the candidates to prepare a 10-minute presentation on the “World’s Best Workforce” initiative as part of the interview.

The following candidates will be receiving interviews:

Dr. Laura VanDuyn – Executive Director of Contra Costa County Office of Education in Concord, Calif.

Dr. Kathleen Mortensen – Director of Schools for Brainerd Public Schools, Brainerd, Minn.

Krin Abraham - Director of Curriculum and Instruction at Houston Public Schools, Houston, Minn.

Dr. Stephen O’Connor – College of Education Program Chair, Argosy University; Twin Cities Senior Consultant at EduSolve, LLC, Rosemount, Minn.

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