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Devils Lake Journal - Devils Lake, ND
  • Privratsky named new Devils Lake superintendent

  • It took members of the Devils Lake Public School Board less than 30 minutes of discussion to decide that they wanted current business manager Scott Privratsky to be the next superintendent of schools.

     


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  • It took members of the Devils Lake Public School Board less than 30 minutes of discussion to decide that they wanted current business manager Scott Privratsky to be the next superintendent of schools.
    At the regular meeting Monday night, the board discussed the final five candidates and named their top choices. They also heard reports from Deb Follman and the parent/teacher committee, that also interviewed the candidates, and learned who their selection would be.
    She went over the strengths of each candidate and said that each also presented “challenges,” although she failed to verbalize any of the comments from that list.
    “Based on what that group shared, we narrowed it to Ryan Hanson and Scott Privratsky,” Follman said.
    Board member Veronica Nicla said she agreed with the committee.
    “I find comfort in hearing their top two,” she said. “I have a top three, those two and Jill Louters.”
    She said Louters has a passion for education that she found exciting.
    Some board members countered that because Louters is from out of state and doesn't have extensive knowledge of the state education system, she may not be the best fit for the district.
    “I only have two (selections),” said board member Kory Boehmer. “Ms. Louters wasn't even on my radar.”
    He and board president Steve Halldorson said they had narrowed their selections to Privratsky and Hanson.
    Board member LeeAnn Johnston said her top three were Privratsky, Wayne Trottier and Kevin Baumgarn.
    Fellow board member Paul Goulding said he rated the applications and interviews separately and some candidates did well on one, but not the other.
    “I thought Mr. Privratsky provided the best application and best interview,” he said. “His answers were on the mark and I like the energy I saw.”
    He said some people have judged Privratsky for being a business manager and that was unfair.
    “He has been the business manager for 19 years,” Goulding said, noting that means he has been in depth with the school system for those 19 years.
    But the most important quality Goulding said he was looking for was someone who genuinely loves children and believes in their education.
    “I think Scott loves kids and that's really important,” he said.
    Goulding said his top choice was Privratsky and he hadn't rated the rest of the candidates.
    The board briefly discussed each of the final two.
    “My only hesitation with Mr. Hanson is, I wonder if he's quite ready,” said Johnston.
    “If we hire Hanson we'll be in a sad state for losing him as principal,” said Nicla. “And if we hire Scott, we'll be losing an excellent business manager.”
    Page 2 of 2 - Board members soon reached a consensus and voted unanimously to offer the position to Privratsky.
    “He has proven time and again that he's a good leader,” Johnston said. “I don't think we can go wrong.”
    Several of the board members plan to spend Tuesday checking references and finalizing the contract.
    Current superintendent Steve Swiontek said the benefits are standard, but the salary will have to be adjusted, noting the current salary range for a superintendent of a district this size is $120,000-130,000.
    Goulding suggested capping the salary range at $125,000, which is what the current superintendent is making.
    A meeting will be held Wednesday at noon to review the information and offer the contract to the new superintendent.

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