Linn-Mar hires search firm, wants new superintendent

Official to be chosen by Jan. 1

MARION — The Linn-Mar school board is hiring a national search firm with the intention of selecting a new superintendent by Jan. 1.

The new superintendent will succeed Katie Mulholland, who will retire June 30, 2015, after serving at the helm of the Marion, Cedar Rapids and Robins-encompassing school district for the past 12 years.

School board members voted unanimously Monday night to hire national search firm HYA Executive Search, based in Rosemont, Ill., at a base cost of $15,500 plus expenses to assist the district’s search.

Linn-Mar’s designated consultant will be Theodore Blaesing, a University of Minnesota adjunct professor who holds bachelor’s and master’s degrees from the University of Northern Iowa and earned his doctorate at the University of Iowa with two awards for outstanding work in educational administration.

He also has served as superintendent of schools in Beloit, Wis., and White Bear Lake, Minn., and was an associate superintendent in the Davenport Community School District.

Linn-Mar board member Ann Stark, who chaired a three-person committee that interviewed multiple prospective search firms, said that the board is planning to meet with Blaesing at an Aug. 25 work session to discuss the search process and firm up a timeline.

Expected topics include whether or not to use locally based focus groups to help develop a desired profile for the new superintendent.

The work session is scheduled for 5 p.m. in Linn-Mar’s Learning Resource Center boardroom, 2999 N. 10th St., Marion.

Construction wrapping up

Linn-Mar’s summer construction projects are on schedule and should not have a negative impact on students when classes resume Monday, Rick Ironside, Linn-Mar’s executive director of support services, told school board members this week.

Included are remodeling projects at Bowman Woods and Wilkins Elementary Schools, window repairs at Oak Ridge Middle School and a resurfacing project for Linn-Mar High School’s south parking lot. Work also is proceeding on a gym addition at Oak Ridge, which is scheduled for completion in mid-March.

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