District 88 in process of replacing 2 key administrators

NEW ULM – A Washington Elementary School principal vacancy posting has resulted in 34 applications, Superintendent Jeff Bertrang told the Board of Education in a report.

Bertrang and District 88 school principals began screening application on Feb. 28, the deadline to apply for the position.

District 88 administrators have also identified staff for the interview team, with school board members to also join the team.

Interviews for the position will be held on March 17 starting at 3 p.m. and on March 21 starting at 5 p.m., according to Bertrang.

The vacancy at Washington results from Interim Principal Les Koppendrayer’s intent to retire at the end of this school year, after a two-year stint at the school.

In addition, District 88 has been holding interviews for a director of facilities to replace long-time Facilities Director Scott Hogen.

The School Board approved Hogen’s resignation as of March 7. Hogen is taking a similar position at Mankato Public Schools.

Applications for the position vacated by Hogen were received until Feb. 14, said Bertrang in an update. Interviews for Hogen’s position have been spread over two days here due to weather. Pending final interviews, Bertrang expects to have a recommendation for the next school board meeting in March.

“Anytime a highly qualified, trusted and experienced person leaves, we have a void,” Bertrang said in earlier comments when responding to a question about how the departure of two administrators would affect ongoing strategic facility planning in the district.

“Scott has done wonders for New Ulm Schools. We will go forward to find a quality person, and we will have some steep learning curves along with way. Our facility task force planning will continue, and Scott has stated he will remain involved as a community member,” Bertrang said.

“Les has been a great person to lead Washington,” Bertrang adds. “We appreciate all that he has done the past two years to provide the leadership, direction and mentorship to allow his staff to grow and students to be successful.”

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