by LAURA HAYES
Richard Dahman will officially begin employment at Winona Area Public Schools (WAPS) as the new superintendent in July. During a recent meeting, the School Board approved and signed Dahman’s three-year contract running through 2020.
“I think he’s going to fit in very well with Winona,” Board Chair Ben Baratto stated. He said that Dahman, who previously served as Medford Public School’s superintendent, was anxious to get to Winona. “We’re anxious to get him aboard,” Baratto added.
Under the approved contact, Dahman will earn $159,500 for the first year, $161,892 for the second, and $164,320 for the third. School Board member Jay Kohner asked how they came up with the wages. Former WAPS Superintendent Stephen West was scheduled to make $140,000 the year that he resigned following the Winona Post’s reports detailing a local professor’s allegations that West plagiarized his doctoral thesis.
Baratto told Kohner that PEER Solutions Principal Partner — the firm that the district hired for $11,900 to aid in the superintendent search process — Charlie Kyte said that some potential candidates had balked at West’s salary. After examining the salaries of other superintendents in the Big 9 conference, Baratto said that the next two lowest were making approximately $169,000 and $170,000. We have to be competitive, Baratto explained.
Additionally, under the contract, Dahman will receive 25 days of paid vacation, 11 paid holidays, and 45 sick days for the 2017-2018 school year. The district will also provide Dahman with health and dental insurance.
In late March, the School Board voted 5-2 to offer the position to Dahman. During his interviews with the board, Dahman described himself as “data-driven” and said that he had good, professional relationships with other superintendents. Several board members were impressed with Dahman’s humility and how he frequently used “we” instead of “me” during the interviews.
Additionally, on Monday, the St. Charles Public Schools (SCPS) Board unanimously approved a three-year contract for current Lewiston-Altura superintendent Jeff Apse to become SCPS’ superintendent. Under the approved contract, Apse will earn $138,000 during the 2017-2018 school year, $140,000 during the 2018-2019 school year, and $142,000 during the 2019-2020 school year.