School Board narrows superintendent candidates

Board plans to interview six finalists for position


Maggie Bahnson

Superintendent Rob Metz announces his resignation to the school board meeting on Jan. 9. Metz will resign after the end of the 2016-2017 school year this June.

The School Board has narrowed its selection of St. Louis Park Public Schools superintendent candidates to six finalists, according to the district’s website and School Board chair Jim Yarosh.

A May 2 post on the district’s website outlined the finalists for superintendent as well as their first round interview times. The first round of superintendent interviews will take place at 5:30 p.m. May 3 and 4 in room C350 at Park.

According to the same post, a first round of interviews will take place at 5:30 p.m. on May 3 and 4 in room C350 at Park.

“Interviews will be held both nights in the high school, room C350,” the post said. “The public is invited to attend, however there is not an opportunity for input.”

Yarosh said the first round of interviews will focus on a list of questions the Board has prepared.

“They’re public meetings, but they’re a pretty controlled environment,” Yarosh said. “We’ve gone through a list of questions, and the candidates will have an opportunity to speak on those questions. So people will be able to come and listen, but won’t have an opportunity to participate.”

The search for a new superintendent began with current superintendent Rob Metz’s Jan. 10 announcement of his resignation at the end of the 2016-2017 school year, effective June 30.

Yarosh said the Board will look for candidates to stand out in preparation for a second round of interviews, which will occur May 8, 9 and 10.

“We’re hoping that a couple of them, two or three, really stand out,” Yarosh said. “We think its going to be a tough decision.”

Sophomore Ayanna Nathan said she hopes the new superintendent will be able to relate with students and their school work.

“(The superintendent candidates) need to understand how a school works and what students actually go through,” Nathan said.

Three candidates will be chosen for the second round of interviews, each a day long. According to the district’s post, these interviews will feature community input.

“At the conclusion of the May 4 interviews, the School Board will select finalists who will participate in daylong interviews with multiple groups of stakeholders on May 8, 9 and 10,” the post said. “Each day, a superintendent finalist will participate in a community interview from 5 to 6 p.m. in the middle school media center classrooms, where audience members may ask questions of the candidates and provide written feedback directly to the school board.”

Echo will continue to cover this story as interviews continue and finalists are once again narrowed down.