By Beth Bily
After a tumultuous two and one-half years in terms of the district’s top administration, Nashwauk-Keewatin school board directors have found a period of calm with the addition of Matt Grose as interim superintendent. And, officials appear to want to keep it that way.
At a preliminary FY18 budget meeting held by the N-K district Monday, board directors indicated they’d like to explore the possibility of retaining Grose’s services for a longer period of time.
Grose has been the superintendent in Deer River since 2006, a position that he still holds. He was brought into the N-K district as an interim, part-time superintendent late last year.
The district ended a shared administrative services agreement with the Greenway School District in November of 2014 following the departure of Mark Adams, who had worked in a shared superintendent capacity for both districts. Adams announced in the summer of 2014, he would be departing from N-K to accept a full-time position at Greenway.
After a period with another interim administrator, Rick Lahn, the N-K District then hired Lance Northey as a full-time superintendent, effective July 1, 2015. His tenure was short-lived, however. At an October 2016 emergency meeting, the board approved a separation agreement with Northey. General disagreement about leadership and the direction of the district were cited as reasons for the parting of ways.
Now, board directors are once again comfortable exploring the idea of a shared superintendent – with Grose at the helm.
“I like the way things are going,” said Board Chair Lisa Peratalo of Grose’s leadership.” I feel the best I have in two years about the way things are going right now.”
Currently, Grose’s interim contract extends though April 30 and he told directors that parties involved would be open to extending that through June 30. The board, however, asked Grose to begin a conversation with the Deer River School Board about adding a longer-term arrangement to the discussion.
Grose, who reported that the shared model was working well from his perspective, said he would alert the Deer River board that N-K directors were interested in a longer-term relationship discussion.
Peratalo said she liked the concept of shared administrative models – pointing to the example of St. Louis County schools and asserting that greater shared services were likely to become reality in Itasca County.
Timelines for discussion about Grose’s potential ongoing role have yet to be set, pending discussion with Deer River officials.