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Humboldt, Twin Rivers move forward with search for superintendent

Humboldt aims to hire new head by March 20

HUMBOLDT — The Humboldt Community School District Board of Directors and the Twin Rivers Community School District Board of Directors are moving forward with the search for a permanent replacement for longtime superintendent Greg Darling.

Darling, who had been the superintendent for the two districts since 2008, was placed on paid administrative by the HCSD board on Jan. 20 through June 30. June 30 is the date when Darling’s early retirement will become effective.

The board has declined to explain why Darling was placed on leave.

Darling remains the Twin Rivers superintendent at 20% of the time, per the two districts’ sharing agreement.

During a joint work session on Tuesday evening, the two boards met with Prairie Lakes Area Education Agency Chief Administrator Jeff Herzberg, who is assisting Humboldt with the superintendent search.

There will be a community focus group from 6 p.m. to 7 p.m. on March 3 at the Humboldt High School Media Center. For community members who are unable to attend, there is an online electronic survey they can fill out at tinyurl.com/humboldtsupt2020.

There will be more focus groups throughout the day on March 4, including with staff at the middle school and high school, department heads, central office staff, bus drivers, high school students and more.

Herzberg will be asking questions like, “What are you looking for in the next superintendent?” “What are the strengths of the district?” and “What are the challenges for the district?”

During a March 9 school board meeting, Herzberg will be presenting the top 10 superintendent candidates in a closed session.

With the two district’s sharing agreement, the superintendent’s contract is with Humboldt. That means the Humboldt school board has the sole authority of hiring the superintendent. During Tuesday night’s joint work session, Twin Rivers school board member Kristyn Olson voiced her concern that Twin Rivers have input in the decision making.

Tate Satern, president of the Humboldt school board, said Twin Rivers can be involved in the process.

On March 17 and 18, there will be interviews of the four finalists — two on each day. Each candidate interview with high school students, central office staff, returning administrators, staff members, community members and board members in several sessions throughout the day. At the end of the two days of interviews, the board will deliberate and decide on a candidate to offer the superintendent job.

The Humboldt school board aims to have a contract signed with the next superintendent on March 20.

Herzberg said the reason for this expedited process is so that Humboldt would be able to have its pick of the best candidates before other school districts begin their hiring process.

“That crop of candidates is limited, so the earlier, the better, in terms of hiring,” he said. “I’m really trying to find the best fit for this position.”

Satern shared his support of Herzberg’s efforts in the superintendent search.

“I have absolute confidence in Jeff’s work,” Satern said. “He provided us with an amazing pool of individuals for an interim. I have full confidence that Mr. Herzberg will provide us with a wonderful, wonderful candidate.”

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