Monticello schools begins search for interim superintendent

The search for an interim superintendent for the Monticello Public School District is officially underway.
The job opening, created by Dr. Jim Johnson retiring from the school district effective Aug. 14, was posted last Tuesday, Aug. 1.

The Minnesota School Board Association met with board members on July 31 to create a timeline and start putting together criteria for the superintendent search.

Board members and MSBA representatives agreed on a plan to keep the job posting open through Aug. 14, allowing candidates two full weekends to find and apply for the position. MSBA will then comb through the candidates and select applicants to present to the Monticello School Board that week. The first round of interviews is scheduled to be held on Monday, Aug. 21, with Aug. 23 being held as a date for a second-round of interviews with the finalists for the position.

School board members were also given a list of qualifications for the interim superintendent and asked to mark the five that were most important to them at the July 31 meeting. The qualifications that received the most votes were chosen as the main criteria MSBA will consider when wading through the pool of applicants.

The most important criteria to the school board, with all six members selecting it, was that “The interim superintendent of our school district should act with honesty and in an ethical manner in dealings with the school board, staff, and community.”

It was important to the school board that the superintendent “be visible in the school district and accessible to the school board, staff, students, parents, and community.” That criteria received five votes. Also receiving five votes was the qualification that the superintendent “have a thorough knowledge of and successful experience in school finance. A strong academic background was voted as the fourth most important criteria, while having knowledge of technology and web-based education curricula was chosen as the fifth.

One final criteria was suggested by Johnson following the vote, and backed by the board. The outgoing superintendent voiced that it was important to not just have a caretaker come in as superintendent, but rather someone that could keep pushing the district, if even for just a year.

“This district can’t sit still for a year. This district has to continue to move forward. And we’ve always done that,” said Johnson. “No matter what, we keep moving forward and we keep that vision out there.”

“So to me, it’s implementing those priorities, making sure we know what’s still important and that that stays front and center, and that we keep moving,” he continued. “Like I said, the district can’t sit still for a year. The kids are too important.”

Contact Clay Sawatzke at [email protected]