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February 23, 2020

1/21/2020 7:30:00 AM
Superintendent finalists to meet public, staff Jan. 28

Jamie Taylor
River News Reporter

The School District of Rhinelander's board of education has reached the homestretch of its search for a successor to superintendent Kelli Jacobi, who is set to retire at the end of the current school year.

The district has announced three finalists for the position and has scheduled sessions on Jan. 28 for district employees and the public to get to know them.

The finalists are Maggie Peterson, the district's director of learning support; Eric Burke, principal at Port Washington High School, and Pat Devine, superintendent of the Waconia School District, Waconia, Minn.

Jacobi made her retirement plans known to the school board last March so as to offer the district an opportunity to hire a replacement before she takes her leave on June 30, 2020.

Jacobi has served as superintendent since 2013 when she took over for Roger Erdahl.

Bruce Miles of Big River Group, the consultant hired to help the district with the superintendent search, had set a February deadline to have a signed contract with the new superintendent in place.

Big River Group met with staff and concerned citizens and conducted an online survey last fall to gather input as to the traits the community desires in the next superintendent.

From there, the semifinalists answered questions emailed to them from school board members.

Based on those responses, the finalists were chosen.

The first candidate will meet with district staff and the public in the Superior Diesel Advanced Learning Center from 3:30 until 4:15 p.m. Jan. 28.

Prior to the public session, the first candidate will meet with administration officials at 2:30 p.m.

At 3:30 p.m., the second finalist will meet the administrative group for 45 minutes and then the staff and public starting at 4:30. The final candidate will start with administrators at 5:30 and the staff/public at 6:30 p.m.

The full school board will convene for a special meeting at 4:15 p.m. in the professional Development Center and interview the first candidate at about 4:30 for approximately 45 minutes. The second and third candidates will then follow.

After interviewing the three finalists, the board will then be given information on the candidates from the administration and staff/public sessions.

The board may then go into closed session and choose a new superintendent.

If the board doesn't make a final decision Jan. 28, a second round of questioning will be done by the board at another special meeting Feb. 4.

While the board meetings will be open to the staff and public, staff and the public will not be able to take part in the questioning.

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