Wrenshall Schools seek superintendent candidates

Applicants will be able to choose which option they want want to apply for: a half-time superintendent or a merged superintendent and principal position.

Wrenshall School File.jpg
Wrenshall School
Clint Austin / 2021 File / Duluth News Tribune

WRENSHALL — Applications for superintendent can now be submitted to the Wrenshall School District after the board approved posting its open superintendent position during a special meeting, Wednesday, March 1.

The posting comes after current Superintendent Kimberly Belcastro announced her retirement late last year, and the board conducted a community survey on what they would like to see from the position.

3 takeaways from the Feb. 13 Wrenshall School Board meeting

Responses from the community were mixed, with no firm choice on having a district leader who would work two-and-a half-days per week, three days per week or a combined position of superintendent and principal.

Because of this, the board approved a job posting that would accept applications from candidates interested in any of the options listed.

Board member Misty Bergman, who also leads the superintendent search committee, said the board is open to different leadership options depending on the applications.


Belcastro added that having options would also allow for more applicants who may be interested in a specific one.

"I do know of one person interested in only a 0.5 (position)," she said.

Belcastro did note that the Minnesota School Board Association has voiced concerns about a shared superintendent and principal position, as they are two different jobs.

"That doesn't mean you shouldn't put it down," she said. "In smaller districts sometimes you don't have a choice."

The board's proposed timeline includes holding interviews in April and approving a new contract during its regular meeting on May 15. However, the board agreed to post the position as "open until filled," giving them options depending on what the applicants' qualifications look like.

During the meeting, the board also discussed its budget planning and set another special meeting for March 14 to plan for more budget cuts.

While the agenda for the meeting indicated the board would decide on additional budget cuts, the item was tabled. Board member Eric Ankrum said the budget committee felt the next round of cuts were not ready to be voted on.

The reductions the board will consider on March 14 will not include anything from the current fiscal year, but rather the following, as the district is out of options for the current year, Ankrum said.


The next special meeting will also have a closed session to allow the board to discuss personnel once they decide where cuts have to be made.

Board Chair Nicole Krisak reiterated her intention to keep cuts as far away from the students as possible.

Board members also thought that it would be good to have teacher's union representatives present at the next meeting to allow for their input as well.

This story was updated at 9:10 a.m. March 6 to reflect the correct date of the board's special meeting. It was originally posted at 7 a.m. March 2. The Pine Journal regrets the error.

Dylan covers the local governments of Cloquet and Carlton County, as well as the Esko and Wrenshall school boards for the Cloquet Pine Journal.
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