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Superintendent search to begin next week for BAS

BEMIDJI -- Bemidji Area Schools’ search for a new superintendent will formally begin next week.

That’s when school district leaders and consultants intend to send out a letter to district “stakeholders” outlining the broad strokes of the search process. They’re also scheduled to set up a confidential online survey for residents to share what they believe are the district’s challenges, strengths and goals, plus what they hope to see in the new superintendent.

Whoever they choose will replace outgoing Superintendent Jim Hess, who announced last August that this school year would be his last at the district.

The search will begin in earnest on Feb. 5-6 when representatives from School Exec Connect will meet with board members, district staff, students and an array of community members to put together a “New Superintendent Profile,” which they’re scheduled to present to the board at a Feb. 20 special meeting. Community members who will help craft that profile include city and county officials, business leaders, representatives from neighboring school districts and BSU President Faith Hensrud.

After that, School Exec consultants will recruit candidates and present a slate of five to seven to the board on Friday, April 13. The board will then interview each candidate and narrow the field to two to three finalists in meetings on Saturday, April 14.

On April 17-18, and April 19, if necessary, the finalists are scheduled to each spend a day at the district interviewing with community members, staff and students before meeting for a second interview with board members.

The board will then narrow their choice to one candidate. Once board members agree on their superintendent selection, the district is scheduled to negotiate an employment contract with the prospective hire for board members to approve at a meeting in May.

The new superintendent would formally start their position July 1.

Joe Bowen

Joe Bowen covers education (mostly K-12) and American Indian affairs for the Bemidji Pioneer.

He's from Minneapolis, earned a degree from the College of St. Benedict - St. John's University in 2009, and worked at the Perham Focus near Detroit Lakes and Sun Newspapers in suburban Minneapolis before heading to the Pioneer.

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