Search Firm Forming Focus Groups in Search for Prior Lake Superintendents | Anterior lake


The search firm hired by Prior Lake-Savage area schools to help the district find a new superintendent formed 19 focus groups with the help of district staff.

The district revealed progress with BWP & Associates during a study session on March 28.

Steve Griesbach and Philip Ehrhardt, BWP consultants, told the group that excellent candidates are available despite the search starting quite late in the school year. Superintendent Teri Staloch announced her resignation in February and will serve until the end of the school year.

“We already have 13 candidates for the position,” Griesbach told board members. “It’s a good number in two weeks, but we’re looking for quality, not quantity. Don’t be fooled by the numbers. In reality, you only need one superstar.

The focus groups are comprised of PLSAS parents and community members who have the opportunity to meet virtually with BWP representatives to share their thoughts for the next PLSAS Superintendent. Focus groups were held via Zoom on March 29 and 30.

BWP & Associates also recently created a brief survey and focus group opportunity to help form a superintendent leadership profile. The survey will be open until April 5 at midnight.

Griesbach said 1,400 surveys have already been completed.

“Once we have done this, the BWP team will present this to the board and we will use this as a framework and our filter to identify candidates to interview in the selection process,” Ehrhardt said. “We will also have the leadership profile for the board to use and develop interview questions for you to use when you start interviewing candidates.”

The Superintendent’s leadership profile will then be posted on the PLSAS website for all participants to see their contribution.

Griesbach reviewed the search timeline with school board members and said PLSAS isn’t the only district looking for a new superintendent.

“We know we’re not the only research in Minnesota right now or across the country,” Griesbach said. “There are four right now that I know of in Minnesota, maybe even a little more.”

Griesbach said the research firm is expected to re-present to the board throughout April, including results from polls, focus groups, interviews and leadership profiles on April 11. this data profile and see who is a perfect fit for your community,” he said.

Griesbach added that BWP will present a handful – possibly four to seven – of highly qualified candidates to the board for consideration on April 28.

“Our goal is that we will only bring you people who we think are a good match for your school and your community,” he said. “We hope that in presenting these candidates and when the board begins to interview these candidates, it will be a difficult decision to reduce it.

Finalists would likely be chosen two weeks later, he said.

Griesbach also told school board members that BWP will work closely with the school board until it hires someone to take over as the next superintendent of schools.

Board Chairman Michael Nelson fully supported the process and timeline and said the board would move forward with the search for a new permanent superintendent.

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