By this time next year, a new superintendent is expected to have taken the reins at Faribault Public Schools. But first, the search for that person needs to begin.

Superintendent Todd Sesker retired from his position in June 2019 but almost immediately, the School Board hired him as interim superintendent. His two-year contract is set to end after the upcoming school year, in June 2022. At Monday’s meeting, the board agreed to interview up to four superintendent search firms to assist with finding a new superintendent.

Board Chair Chad Wolff said he, Board member Jerry Robicheau and Faribault Public Schools Human Resource Director Nicole Yochum are putting together a request for proposals for superintendent search firms. The request will ask qualified firms to submit plans to the district outlining how they would assist the district in its search. The board would then be expected to select a firm based on the proposals received.

Wolff was involved in the community group that interviewed Sesker, who became superintendent of Faribault Public Schools in July 2011. Robicheau, a retired superintendent, has also helped a number of Minnesota in their search for a new superintendent.

RFPs for search firms will be sent out later this week, Wolff said, with plans for the board to interview firms in August.

Wolff explained that the RFP for a search firm will include two pieces: one to request the firm assist in the development of a leadership profile of a superintendent and another to request the firm find a candidate that fits the description. The board is open to firms that offer one of the two services or both, Wolff said.

Between August and January 2022, the search firm selected by the School Board will work with the board, community members, stakeholders, staff and some students to gain an understanding of the characteristics expected of the incoming superintendent. Wolff said the timeline for gathering community input will become clearer after the selection of the search firm.

As part of the RFP process for superintendent candidates, Wolff said the district will develop a profile of a superintendent using feedback from the aforementioned groups.

“We want it to be as open and transparent as possible,” Wolff said. “So that’s why we’re not doing it ourselves and going to engage in a search firm to do that with us.”

At Monday’s meeting, Board member Richard Olson asked if the selected search firm will conduct the search locally or nationally.

Wolff said that due to the circumstances of the pandemic increasing virtual interactions, some of the firms being interviewed may work on a national scale while others may only focus on bringing in candidates from Minnesota.

“Hopefully early next year we will have interviews with candidates, and hopefully by the end of March, we’ll have an offer extended,” Wolff said.

Reporter Misty Schwab can be reached at 507-333-3135. Follow her on Twitter @APGmisty. ©Copyright 2021 APG Media of Southern Minnesota. All rights reserved.

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