Le Center referendum meeting

TCU Superintendent Teri Preisler shares information on the district’s building bond referendum at an April 2016 community meeting. After seven years with the district, Preisler is retiring, and the School Board wants residents’ input on what traits they want in a successor. (Leader file photo)

The Tri-City United School Board is gearing up to replace soon-to-retire Superintendent Teri Preisler, and will consider the preferences of TCU community members to select her successor.

To cull these preferences, an online survey asking what expertise and traits community members would like to see in the next superintendent is live on TCU’s website, www.tcu2905.us. Additionally, the Minnesota School Board Association, which the TCU School Board enlisted for help in the hiring process, will invite community members to sessions where they can voice their preferences in person, according to the Tri-City United Public Schools Superintendent Search Timeline.

The MSBA will conduct a listening session for TCU staff members to offer to offer their opinions Wednesday. Then it will conduct three sessions for district residents at 6:30 p.m. Feb. 24 at TCU Le Center K-8 Media Center, TCU Lonsdale Elementary Media Center and TCU High School Performing Arts Center.

The board has already determined some of it hiring criteria. In a Feb. 10 meeting, the board approved a brochure with broad descriptions of an ideal candidate — “Delegates authority while maintaining accountability”, “A ‘people person’ with proven abilities in human relations and communications” and the like.

According to the timeline, the board will begin considering candidates March 23 and narrow a list of finalists March 30. It will attempt to establish consensus on who it should hire, but ultimately, the hiring will come down to a board vote, Preisler said.

“I’m confident they’re going to find a really great person for the role, but I do know that Teri has just put a lot of herself out there, and has spent so many hours working to make our education communities a success, so I think it’s going to be really interesting and a little bit challenging for [the board],” Sara Kuchinka, a parent of two students at TCU Montgomery Elementary and member of the school’s Parent Teacher Organization.

TCU School Board Chair Marsha Franek said it will be difficult to fill Preisler’s shoes and commended the superintendent on her leadership and grant writing skills.

In one of Preisler’s more memorable accomplishments, voters approved a $22.1 million bond referendum in February 2018, which funded facility updates across the district at buildings in Lonsdale, Montgomery and Le Center.

“The work we’ve done here at Tri-City United in the past seven years, and only having come together as a consolidated district just eight years ago, I think we can all be proud of holding true to the mission in empowering learners, creating opportunities, and becoming united,” Preisler said.

Preisler’s retirement begins July 1. Her successor’s tenure.

Reach Intern Iain Carlos at 507-645-1117. ©Copyright 2020 APG Media of Southern Minnesota. All rights reserved.

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