Moose Lake Principal Billie Jo Steen has been hired to replace outgoing Moose Lake Superintendent Bob Indihar.

The school board made the decision at its regular meeting April 20 after a virtual interview process in late March. Steen will begin the role with a one year contract July 1, with an annual salary of $116,500. She said educating students during the COVID-19 pandemic will be the district's biggest challenge.

“This is going to impact instruction and practices at the school for a long time whether we’re continuing distance learning in the future or trying to do our best with social distancing when students return to school after a trimester of remote learning," she said.

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A Moose Lake graduate, Steen has worked in the district for 12 years, serving as high school principal for eight of those years.

She plans to build on the strengths of the district, including its students, teachers and the supportive community, she said.

She also wants to learn the superintendent position better before implementing changes, although she does have a few ideas she said she plans to work on. One of her goals is to improve engagement with parents and the community.

“In this day and age we need to look at different ways to provide meaningful opportunities for our parents and community to be a part of educating the children of Moose Lake and surrounding areas,” Steen said.

Indihar, who took over as superintendent in 2012, said he thinks Steen will excel in the role.

“Billie Jo will be an excellent superintendent,” Indihar said.

Leading a school district can be a demanding and stressful job, Indihar said, so he advised that Steen take care of herself, as well as "stay true to what your heart tells you is good for students."