April 15, 2014

The East Sac County School Board discussed three option for replacing superintendent Kevin Fiene at a brief special meeting held last week to accept Fiene's resignation.

Fiene announced his plans last week to leave East Sac and take a position in the Interstate 35 School District, located about 30 miles south of Des Moines, in order for he and his wife to be closer to their three adult children in West Des Moines and Centerville.

The school board discussed filling the position with an interim superintendent, jointly searching for a new superintendent with a neighboring district, or sharing an existing superintendent with a neighboring district. Sharing the position would allow the district to take advantage of $50,000 in operational incentive money from the state for the next four to five years.

On Monday, Fiene said he and business manager John Kraft had been instructed this week to contact officials from contiguous districts or one district further to determine any level of interest regarding possible sharing.

"This is the right time to have this discussion," Fiene said.

Districts adjacent to the East Sac County schools include Newell-Fonda, Schaller-Crestland, Odebolt-Arthur, Ar-We-Va, Carroll and South Central Calhoun.

Fiene said none of those adjoining districts currently have open superintendent positions. Newell-Fonda already shares a superintendent with Albert City-Truesdale, Schaller-Crestland already shares with Galva-Holstein, and Odebolt-Arthur already shares with Battle Creek-Ida Grove.

One district further from East Sac schools, Coon Rapids-Bayard to the southeast and Laurens-Marathon to the northeast have superintendent openings, said Fiene.

Coon Rapids-Bayard superintendent Rich Stoffers announced his resignation late in March. His goal is to save the district, which must cut about $400,000 from its general-fund budget next year, more than $50,000 in administrative costs, as well as qualifying it for the $50,000 in sharing incentives.

The Coon Rapids-Bayard School Board and staff will be interviewing Brad Jermeland, superintendent of Ogden Community Schools, and Tom Ward, superintendent of IKM-Manning Community Schools, on Wednesday as possible candidates for a shared superintendent. CRB school board members also have a meeting scheduled with the CAM Community School District in Anita to discuss running a joint search for a shared superintendent.

CRB School Board president Joel Davis said the district is also open to working with the East Sac district on a joint search for a superintendent as it continues to narrow its options.

Kurt Bosamle, superintendent of Ar-We-Va, and Jeff Kruse, superintendent of South Central Calhoun, both indicated interest in sharing a superintendent when approached by Davis.

The East Sac board will discuss options based on Fiene and Kraft's findings at its regular board meeting on Monday.