Three still in running for Washington principal

The field of applicants for the Washington School principal's position has been narrowed to three, with the Cloquet School Board set to conduct final interviews on April 30.

The field of applicants for the Washington School principal's position has been narrowed to three, with the Cloquet School Board set to conduct final interviews on April 30.

Connie Hyde of Cloquet, B.J. Berg of the Carlton School District and Lisa Edwards of Windom, Minn., were named as the final three by Superintendent Ken Scarbrough at Monday night's board meeting.

"We had a high-quality slate of candidates," Scarbrough said. "We interviewed seven finalists [April 21] and all seven received at least one top-three vote from the panel. The process has been lengthy, but well worthwhile."

Interviews will be conducted by the full board in the board room beginning at 6 p.m. Monday.

The selected candidate will replace Randy Thudin, who is retiring at the end of the school year.


In other actions, the board approved a renegotiated business services contract with Regional Resources in the amount of $89,020. The contract was renegotiated after no board member would move for the adoption of the prior agreement at the April 9 meeting.

The vote was 3-2, with board members Jim and Sandy Crowley voting against adoption and Board Chair Gary Huard absent.

Scarbrough noted that the renegotiated contract was for approximately 4 percent less than the older one, with more work days added.

"I wouldn't want to get by on any fewer days than in the contract (170)," he said. "We will get more days [of work] for less money."

Jim Crowley, in opposition, wasn't satisfied that the savings were enough.

"We've tried to cut all contracts," he said. "It seems like we accommodate administrators but not others."

Scarbrough also presented a memorandum to the board outlining the preliminary results of recent long-range "chainsaw planning" meetings held with staff and the public.

"The description and implementation plans for these priorities will be refined," Scarbrough said in his note to the board. "Specific plans will be developed to implement these priorities. In most cases, this process will be to improve what the district is already doing, and to make sure that these identified priorities become top priorities."


The six priorities, which were not ranked, are:

+ Provide strong fiscal management - balanced budget, effective communication and passage of a referendum.

+ Plan/provide first-rate technology and access to that technology for our students and community.

+ Continue to promote understanding and appreciation of cultural and socioeconomic diversity.

+ Emphasize high standards/expectations and improve social behaviors.

+ Improve trust between all groups: school board, administration staff, students and community.

+ Study student and school configurations and the delivery of programs that best serves our students and community.

Scarbrough said refined goals would be presented at a later date.


In other actions, the board also requested additional information from administration on various parts of the hiring process. Customarily, board members make most hires during the "consent agenda" part of the meeting, where non-controversial items are grouped together and voted upon as a single agenda item.

"I've had people ask me about our new baseball coach, for example, and I have to say I don't know," board member Dave Battaglia said. "I'd like to be kept in the loop."

Scarbrough agreed, noting that the board needs to decide how involved it would like to be in terms of information regarding the hiring process for certain positions.

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