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Interviews with Grand Forks superintendent candidates start this week

The search for the next superintendent of Grand Forks Public Schools moves into high gear this week as School Board members conduct initial interviews with candidates for the position.

Board President Doug Carpenter said he expects School Exec Connect, the company that has been hired to assist with the search, to recommend six qualified applicants for consideration.

Members of the School Board's superintendent search committee will meet in closed session Tuesday to review information on those candidates, Carpenter said.

They will interview three candidates Wednesday and three on Thursday, also in closed session, he said.

Following Thursday's interviews, the committee will meet in open session, probably starting about 8:30 or 9 p.m., to choose three finalists, he said.

The initial six candidates' names will not be made public, in accordance with a state law passed by the 2017 North Dakota Legislature, he said.

By protecting the candidates' privacy, the intent of the law was "to encourage people to apply" for these leadership positions, he said.

Without that privacy, "there are some that wouldn't apply," he said. "It's so early in the process, they don't want to risk disruption in their own communities, if they don't know they're going to be one of the finalists."

On each of the days Feb. 12, 13 and 15, a finalist will meet with six different groups, representing community leaders, students, teachers and other interested parties, he said.

Also, on each of those days, the public may meet and talk with a finalist from 5 to 6 p.m. at the Mark Sanford Education Center, 2400 47th Ave. S.

At 7:30 p.m. each day, the School Board will interview a finalist, also at the Sanford Center.

After the final interview Feb. 15, School Board members "will meet and select the candidate we'd like to negotiate a contract with," Carpenter said.

For the past couple of months, School Exec Connect, a company based in Edina, Minn., has been advertising the Grand Forks school superintendent position and recruiting potential candidates. Wednesday was the deadline for candidates to apply.

Superintendent Larry Nybladh, who is in his 10th year on the job, has announced his retirement effective June 30.

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