Dist. 11 Board selects three finalists in search for new superintendent

The Anoka-Hennepin District 11 School Board announced three finalists in its search for a new superintendent Feb. 13.

After preliminary interviews with a field of six Feb. 11 and 12, the board asked David Law, assistant superintendent of White Bear Lake Area Schools; Michelle Langenfeld, superintendent in Green Bay, Wis.; and Jeff McGonigal, associate superintendent for high schools in District 11, to return for final interviews.

Stephen Flisk, an associate superintendent of Minneapolis Public Schools; Jinger Gustafson, associate superintendent for middle schools in District 11; and Carlton Jenkins, superintendent in Saginaw, Mich., were not asked to return for second interviews with the board.

Final interviews are scheduled for Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday next week, Feb. 18-20. Candidates will each spend a day touring schools, attending question-and-answer sessions with district employees and the wider community, as well as sitting for a final hour-long interview with the school board.

Question-and-answer sessions will occur from 5:30-6:15 p.m. each day. The school board interviews will be conducted from 8-9 p.m. and will be open to the public.

The board plans to interview McGonigal on Tuesday, Langenfeld on Wednesday and Law on Thursday.

The board intends to make a decision about whom to hire very quickly, within the week. Then a contract can be drawn up and signed in March.

Whomever the board hires will begin his or her duties in July on Dennis Carlson’s retirement.

Carlson has served Anoka-Hennepin as superintendent for five years.

Candidate biographies

All three candidates have connections to District 11.

Law worked as an assistant principal at Sandburg Middle School in Anoka for seven years. In 2007, he moved to the White Bear Lake School District to become principal at Sunrise Park Middle School. He has worked as assistant superintendent for four years.

Law, appropriately enough, has a doctor of law degree from William Mitchell College of Law. He has a superintendent’s license from the University of Minnesota.

Langenfeld left her post as associate superintendent for middle schools in Anoka-Hennepin – the position Gustafson holds today – to become superintendent in Green Bay in 2011. Before becoming an associate superintendent in District 11, Langenfeld worked as principal of Coon Rapids and Sandburg middle schools for a total of eight years.

Langenfeld earned a doctorate in policy and administration from the University of Minnesota.

One internal candidate remains. McGonigal was hired as associate superintendent for high schools in 2011. He came to the district to become principal of Coon Rapids High School seven years ago, leaving his post as principal of Robbinsdale Cooper High School.

McGonigal earned his master’s degree in secondary administration from the University of St. Thomas and his superintendent’s license from St. Mary’s University in Minneapolis.

For more detailed information about the candidates and continued updates, visit www.anoka.k12.mn.us/suptsearch.

Olivia Koester is at [email protected]