by Dennis Dalman
Diane Moeller, the award-winning former principal of Kennedy Community School, is a candidate for the position of superintendent of the Sartell-St. Stephen School District.
Moeller is among seven finalists chosen Jan. 27 by the school board from a slate of 38 online applications for the position.
Moeller is currently serving as assistant superintendent of the St. Cloud School District.
The search for a superintendent began last year when then-superintendent Dr. Joe Hill announced he would resign. A replacement for Hill could be announced as early as the end of the first week of February.
Other candidates, besides Moeller, listed in the order they will be interviewed by the school board, are:
John Engelkind, superintendent at Proctor, Minn.; Jenny Bushman, director of curriculum instruction and assessment in the Winona School District; Jeff Schwiebert, superintendent for North Scott Community Schools in Eldridge, Iowa; Diane Moeller; Ron Wilkie, superintendent at La Crescent, Minn.; Paul Neubauer, director of curriculum and instruction at St. Francis, Minn.; Debra Lechner, director of teaching and learning for the Brainerd (Minn.) School District.
“The board will be faced with tough choices,” consultant Dr. Greg Vandal told the Sartell Newsleader right after the Jan. 27 meeting. “Sartell-St. Stephen has a great reputation, and lot of people are interested in being part of the school system.”
Vandal, former superintendent of the Sauk Rapids-Rice School District, is a member of the consulting firm of “School Exec Connect,” which was chosen last year by the school board to help in the search for a new superintendent. Vandal has worked side by side with another School Exec Connect consultant, Dr. Ken Dragseth, director of administrative licensure at the University of Minnesota’s School of Education and retired superintendent of the Edina School District.
Dalman was born and raised in South St. Cloud, graduated from St. Cloud Tech High School, then graduated from St. Cloud State University with a degree in English (emphasis on American and British literature) and mass communications (emphasis on print journalism). He studied in London, England for a year (1980-81) where he concentrated on British literature, political science, the history of Great Britain and wrote a book-length study of the British writer V.S. Naipaul. Dalman has been a reporter and weekly columnist for more than 30 years and worked for 16 of those years for the Alexandria Echo Press.