LITTLE FALLS — The Little Falls School District may soon have a new superintendent.
The Little Falls School Board Thursday agreed to enter into contract negotiations with Stephen Jones, who currently serves as the superintendent of the Sibley East School District in Arlington. Jones will succeed Curt Tryggestad, who resigned to take a superintendent job in the Eden Prairie School District.
The board entered into negotiations with Jones after conducting three days of interviews with three finalists for the superintendent position.
School board chair Jay Spillum said Monday that the board and Jones are still negotiating and the contract is not finalized. Spillum hopes the contract will be final soon.
Spillum said the board selected Jones as he went above the criteria the board set for the superintendent position. The board established 10 requirements that it’s looking for in a superintendent including someone who has an inspirational vision and strategic plan for the district which involves all stakeholders and creates excellence for all students; and someone who could understand and address the needs of the wide variety of students served in the district and allowing all students to have multiple options upon graduation.
Spillum said Jones has a personality in which he’ll develop positive relationships with school staff and be a visible part in the community. Spillum said Jones not only has an educational background, but he also has a business background and he was a radio announcer. He said Jones also served on the city council in Tracy for one term.
Jones has been the superintendent in Sibley East since 2009. Prior to that, Jones was the superintendent and high school principal at Murray County Central from 2005-09. He also was the high school principal at Maple River High School and taught speech/language arts/media production at Tracy High School.
In a telephone interview, Jones said the Little Falls School District interested him for several reasons. Jones said Little Falls and Sibley East have a lot of similarities, including their vision on technology. Jones said Sibley East is launching a similar program with iPads as Little Falls has done.
Jones said another commonality is the connection the schools have with their community. Jones said through research and talking with people he learned that many students, who graduated from Little Falls, ended up coming back to the school to work.
“This speaks well for a healthy school district,” said Jones.
When asked what Jones will bring to Little Falls schools, he said, “I’ll bring a lot of energy, enthusiasm and passion to Little Falls. I feel that I’m ethically grounded and based on how I love interacting with people, they will see me as someone who cares for the community and someone who knows what is best for our kids.”
Jones said once he starts with the district, he said his immediate goal will be to get to know the district, the staff and the students and their families.
Jones said that Sibley East is about half the size of the Little Falls School District.