The Carlton School Board approved a contract naming John Engstrom as the interim superintendent during a special meeting Monday, June 8.

Engstrom was hired as an interim superintendent because the district is currently engaged in consolidation talks with the Wrenshall School Board and the district may not need a superintendent beyond July 2021.

Engstrom was most recently superintendent of Friess Lake School District in Washington County, Wisconsin. Engstrom retired following a consolidation between Friess Lake and neighboring Richfield School District. Both districts had students in grades K-8.

The contract approved by the Carlton board will pay Engstrom $108,243 in 2020-21.

Current Carlton Superintendent Gwen Carman accepted a job with Lewiston-Altura School District in southeastern Minnesota in April. Carman’s last day in the office in Carlton will be June 25.

Gwen Carman
Gwen Carman

Engstrom’s first official day with the district will be July 1. Engstrom and Carman have been meeting weekly and exchanging emails, and he has already attended several meetings, Carman said.

The board also approved a contract for South Terrace Principal Ben Midge to expand his duties and become the administrator at Carlton Middle and High School. The high school principal duties have been filled by Midge, Carman and former Cloquet High School principal Warren Peterson since the resignation of former principal Barry Wolfe in February.