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Pine City School Board Hires Firm for Superintendent Search

The Pine City School Board has hired Raymond and Associates to assist them in the search and hiring of a new superintendent during a special meeting last week.

The meeting was a continued discussion from the board's regular meeting on March 14, where an attempt to hire the firm then failed in a split vote. Board member JacLynn Cavillin was absent during the regular meeting, and board members Dan Peterson, Becci Palmblade, and former Chair Dr. Lisa Nos-Tollefson voted against the measure.

At that time, Nos-Tollefson and Peterson stated that they voted no because they did not have time to read through the proposal.

Raymond and Associates was one of two firms the board heard from on Friday, March 18. The other proposal was offered by the Minnesota School Boards Association (MSBA).

"I think after hearing both of them, I don't want to do it on our own," Vice-Chair Tim Giesler said following the presentation of both proposals.

There was a significant price difference between the two options, the proposal from Raymond and Associates is for $19,300. The offer from MSBA was for $9,500 plus whatever any a-la-carte options the district wanted.

"I think we viewed two very different proposals," said Lezlie Sauter. "One felt very administrative and by the book, checking the boxes and helping us through a process. I felt the other one was really going to take a deeper dive into what we need."

Part of the proposal from Raymond and Associates would include interviews with school board members, paired with meetings and surveys with community stakeholders (students, parents, etc.), to gather input on what Pine City wants in a superintendent.

The firm also provides a two-year guarantee, so if the new superintendent does not work out, Raymond and Associates will conduct a new search at no cost to Pine City Schools.

After approving the motion to hire the firm, members of the school board said that they would waive their compensation during the hiring process to help offset the cost of hiring Raymond and Associates.

The board will be meeting with Craig Morris, a consultant with Raymond and Associates, on Thursday, March 24 during a special meeting at 6:00 p.m. to determine the timeline and process for hiring the new superintendent.

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