Moose Lake Star Gazette - Serving Carlton and Pine Counties Since 1895

By Jack McFarlane
Moose Lake Star-Gazette 

Moose Lake High School needs new principal


Potential administrative changes were discussed at the most recent working meeting of the Moose Lake school board on April 27.

With high school principal Billie Jo Steen taking over superintendent duties for the next school year, the board discussed about options filling the position, including simply hiring another principal. Steen was in favor of this option.

Another option that was discussed was having a part or full time Dean of Students, somebody to handle discipline and such at the high school level. But a dean would not be able to do a task like evaluate a teacher. Teacher evaluations are an important part of the job and they can only be done by a licensed principal or superintendent.

Contract duration was another topic discussed, such as if they should have a short term “band-aid” type fix to get them through the year with all the uncertainty, or a bit longer term? Billie Jo Steen has a one-year special leave of absence from the principal role so any new hire would have an interim label to start with.

A big obstacle to looking ahead for the board is the uncertainty of what the beginning of the next school year is going to look like, and the uncertainty of what anything is going to look like in the future. The COVID-19 pandemic in our country and around the world has made predicting the future even more futile than usual.

The board touched on other ideas such as, can the board reshuffle some things internally and make better use of the resources and staff they already have? They also brought up having both a principal and a dean of students; having someone to just handle curriculum; the financial ramifications of their options and where they could save money.

Board member Bohnsack stressed that there is more going on than just simply hiring another position, and that the board should explore and exhaust all avenues in the process.

One thing the board seemed to all be on the same page about is that the position needs to be filled, and the time to find good candidates is running out. The board agreed to get the hiring process started quickly and the position was posted the day after the meeting.


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