Serving Northern St. Louis County, Minnesota

Ely school board to query superintendent finalists

Keith Vandervort
Posted 4/25/19

ELY – The Ely School Board has selected four finalists, whom the board hopes to interview next week for the district’s part-time superintendent position. Interviews are scheduled for Wednesday, …

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Ely school board to query superintendent finalists

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ELY – The Ely School Board has selected four finalists, whom the board hopes to interview next week for the district’s part-time superintendent position. Interviews are scheduled for Wednesday, May 1, and Thursday, May 2, at 5 p.m. and 6:45 p.m. on both days, according to board president Ray Marsnik.

Interviews are open to the public.

After reviewing resumés from eight applicants during a special meeting on April 16, board members cut the field of candidates in half. They agreed to offer interviews to Bruce Houck, of Russell, Minn., Kevin Ricke, of Fosston, Minn., Steve Thomas, of Northome, Minn., and Beth Zietz, of Parshall, N.D.

School board members have agreed on a goal to hire the new superintendent by the end of the school year.

The board is looking for a new chief administrator to replace Kevin Abrahamson, who announced last month that he plans to leave his position at ISD 696 when his contact expires on June 30.

Marsnik said the finalists were selected in a “blind” process where board members reviewed application materials with names redacted.

He said this week that the finalists selected for interviews have extensive education and administrative experience. According to Internet searches on the candidates:

Houck has been an educator for more than 35 years and a superintendent for 26 years, He has served as superintendent of the Southwest Educational Cooperative in Hendricks, Minn., and the Russell-Tyler-Ruthton School District; 

Ricke currently serves as superintendent of ISD 601 in Fosston. He was a principal at the Lake Park-Audubon school district;

Steve Thomas serves as superintendent of the South Koochiching-Rainy River School District and also worked at Nett Lake;

Zietz formerly served as superintendent at the Cook County School District.

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