It was a “busy, productive day” for the two Winona Area Public School (WAPS) Board members who visited the communities of Eden Prairie and Richfield as part of the final consideration of whether to offer the superintendent job to sole finalist Dr. Stephen West.
Board members Jeanne Nelson and Tina Lehnertz, along with WAPS director of human resources Pat Blaisdell, left early in the morning on Wednesday, February 26, and spent the entire day meeting with members of each community, a schedule which included meeting with community members individually as well as in groups.
“We had a schedule and it was all set up very nicely,” Nelson said of the community tours. “It was a long process and I would very much like to thank everyone from Eden Prairie and Richfield.”
Nelson and Lehnertz will provide their fellow board members with a report regarding their experience at the next School Board meeting on Thursday, March 6. The School Board will then have the opportunity to consider formally offering the superintendent position to West.
Both Nelson and Lehnertz said that they would need to talk to their fellow board members before revealing any additional details of the trip, but did offer that the visit was a beneficial part of the process.
Lehnertz said, “I need to talk [about the visit] with my other board members before I reveal anything else.”
Nelson reiterated the same sentiment.“It was an important day, a productive day,” she said. “I know I need to work through this process with the board. To be true to my job and mission, I can’t make more comments.”
West, who recently submitted his intent to resign as executive director of educational services at Eden Prairie Schools, was selected by the board on Wednesday, February 19, over two other semi-final candidates: Stephen Flisk, of Minneapolis Public Schools, and Patrick Sweeney, of Arizona’s Paradise Valley Unified School District.