The St. Michael Albertville School Board met for a special meeting Monday evening to narrow the field of six superintendent semifinalists to three finalists. After conducting interviews last week, the board had a strong consensus on which three candidates to choose. The finalists for the superintendent job include Ann-Marie Foucault, Edward Graff and Dean Jennissen.The hometown finalist is Foucault, who currently serves at the school district’s Albertville Primary principal and director of curriculum and staff development. Graff is currently working as the superintendent of the Anchorage, Alaska, school district. Jennissen currently works as Dassel-Cokato’s high school principal.
Graff is the lone finalist with experience as a superintendent, albeit in a school district many times the size of St. Michael-Albertville’s. Some board members said they consider prior superintendent experience to be a higher priority than others did. Other qualities board members said they were looking for included budgetary experience, ability to think on their feet and a collaborative leadership style.
The next few weeks will be a sprint to the finish line for school board members. Two members of the school board will visit each finalist in their home district, a process they regarded as “critical” to their final selection. During the last superintendent search, Iowa City was the board’s farthest destination for a site visit. This time is quite different, with 3,100 miles separating STMA and Anchorage, Alaska. The board has not yet determined who will go on the site visits.
In addition to site visits, the school board will conduct final interviews with the three finalists April 26 and 27. The interviews will take place during special board meetings, held at the high school media center. These board meetings are open to the public. The board will interview Graff at 6:30 p.m. April 26, and Foucault will be interviewed at 8 p.m. that same evening. Dean Jennissen’s final interview will be 6:30 p.m. April 27, also in the high school media center.
The community has an opportunity to meet the candidates and ask questions at upcoming community forums, scheduled for 4 p.m. on April 25, 26 and 27. April 25 will be Ann-Marie Foucault’s community forum at the Middle School West media center, the 26th will be Ed Graff’s forum at the high school’s media center and Dean Jennissen’s will be the 27th, also at the high school’s media center.
The school board will make their final selection at a special board meeting Monday, May 9 at 6:30 p.m.