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School district starts search for business manager

Grand Forks Superintendent Larry Nybladh said the school district will try to find a new business manager to recommend to the School Board by April 15.

Board members accepted the resignation of Vicky Schwartz at their meeting on Monday. According to the district, she accepted a job as a chief financial officer at a larger, out-of-state school district. Her last day will be April 11.

Nybladh said they hope to close the job ad by late March and will expand the search as far as they can.

He cautioned that the pool of qualified candidates for such a job is small. In terms of candidates within the state, there are so many smaller school districts that some might not have the necessary experience, he said.

“It’s always better to have experience,” he said.

The district may have to consider internal candidates to fill a temporary spot until they find a new business manager, he said.

Several board members praised Schwartz, who has worked for the district less than two years. President Vicki Ericson said she “touched individual lives” here and also noted how Schwartz endured tough scrutiny from community members.

Last year, she along with other school officials faced public criticism after the board voted to raise taxes, despite the state Legislature’s approval of a 50-mill buydown for school tax levies.

Schwartz didn’t deserve the criticism she received, said Ericson.

“She was very thorough, very detailed and exactly what we needed,” she said. “This is a true loss.”

Vice President Mike St. Onge said Schwartz struggled with the decision to leave but said he understood the move was a good one.

“I know you feel it’s the best one for you,” he said.

Schwartz sent her resignation letter to the superintendent and School Board on Feb. 28.

Jennifer Johnson

Jennifer Johnson is the K-12 education reporter for The Grand Forks Herald.  Contact her if you have any story ideas or tips and visit 

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