The Brainerd School Board announced the names of the four finalists for Brainerd's next superintendent Monday, which includes two familiar faces.
The four finalists are Steve Razidlo, Brainerd assistant superintendent; Todd Lyscio, Brainerd Community Education director; Jerry L. Kjergaard, superintendent in the Waconia School District; and John Longtin of Eagan, who has worked for an executive consulting group in Eagan since 2006 and who served as superintendent for the Mendota Heights School District for seven years.
The district had nine candidates for the position, which included one woman and eight men, said board member Kent Montgomery, who serves as chair of the personnel committee which has overseen the hiring process. During a special board meeting last Thursday they selected the top four finalists but did not name them until after Montgomery had called each of the finalists and verified they still were interested in the job.
Kjergaard has served as Waconia superintendent since 2000, according to his resume. During this time, he helped pass one of the largest bond referendums in the district's history, a $33.5 million referendum in 2005. He also guided passage of a 10-year $6 million operating levy election in 2007. He was named 2007 Superintendent of the Year by Carver-Scott Community Education and was a teacher of the year in Fayette, Iowa, Community Schools in 1981, 1982 and 1983. He has been an educator since 1976, starting as a junior/senior high social studies teacher and coach in Hurley, S.D. He's held a variety of educational positions and has been a superintendent since 1987.
Longtin is a principal in the Frederick - Case Group of Eagan, which performs executive consulting for multiple firms. He has held this position since 2006. He served as superintendent in Mendota Heights from 1999-2006 and was a principal at Henry Sibley High School in Mendota Heights from 1995-1999.
According to his resume, he helped in the passage of a $56.2 million bond referendum in a community where only 14 percent of the voters had children in public school. He also oversaw the district as it went from being in statutory operating debt to financial solvency in less than two years. He spent five years as a teacher, 16 years as principal and seven years as superintendent, managing an annual budget of $48 million.
Razidlo, a Brainerd resident, has served as Brainerd assistant superintendent for the past two years, principal at Brainerd High School for seven years and assistant principal at BHS for two years. For 10 years he served as a teacher, coach, athletic director and later as a principal in Maine before he and his wife, Dawn, moved to Brainerd.
During his tenure at BHS, he helped increase high school completion rate and reduce the dropout rate. Razidlo has hired and developed school leaders; four are now principals. He also oversaw major elements of staff and program reductions in the district, including next year's $5.5 million in budget cuts.
Lyscio, who lives in Baxter, has been director of Brainerd Community Education since 2005 and middle school athletic director since 2003. He served as assistant principal at Forestview Middle School and the former Mississippi Horizons from 2003-2005. He was the high school principal at Staples-Motley High School from 2000-2003. He also served as a junior high counselor at the former Franklin Junior High School from 1992-2000 and as a ninth-grade health instructor there from 1985-1992. Lyscio was named Brainerd's Young Citizen of the Year in 1997. He has spent 24 years in education, most of which were in the district.
The board plans to conduct reference checks on the finalists from April 15-18 with interviews scheduled sometime between April 21-25. The chosen finalist will be offered the position between April 28-30 and is expected to be hired by May 12. He would begin the superintendent's job on July 1.
JODIE TWEED may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 855-5858.
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