4/1/2014 12:21:00 PM New school principals named Middle school, high school will have new administrators next school year
By David Richards
Both Byron High School and Byron Middle School will have new principals for the 2014-2015 school year.
Add in the new assistant principal for Byron Elementary School and all of the district's schools will have a new administrator of some kind this fall.
"I would guess that's very unusual," said Jennifer Walsh, the district's director of business operations.
Pending contract approval by the school board at its April 22 meeting, Steve Willman will take over duties at the high school from Mike Duffy, who is retiring, while Richard Swanson will take over for interim principal Dick Jones at the middle school. Jones replaced Rachel Larson, who left in August to take a position in Stillwater.
Willman is a current assistant principal for John Marshall High School in Rochester, while Swanson is the current principal for the area's alternative learning center in the Zumbro Education District.
First and second interviews for the high school and middle school principal posts have been completed, with offers made and accepted for both.
Walsh said site teams from each school conducted the first interviews.
At the middle school, site teams included staff members, while at the high school, the site team included staff from each of the core education areas, support staff and a student.
The site teams forwarded their suggestions to the second interview team, which included Superintendent Jeff Elstad, a school board member and elementary school principal Abe Rodemeyer.
"There was great discussion by the site teams of who they wanted to forward on, and every one is excited to work with the new administration team," Walsh said.
Walsh said 38 candidates applied for the middle school post, while 33 applied for the high school position.
"We expected to get strong pools of candidates and we did," she said.