Eden Prairie expected to name new superintendent Friday

  • Article by: KIM MCGUIRE , Star Tribune
  • Updated: March 20, 2012 - 4:05 PM

Three superintendent finalists, including two from Illinois, are vying for the post vacated by Melissa Krull.

The Eden Prairie school board has selected three finalists for the district's vacant superintendent post and expects to make a final choice on Friday.

The finalists are Gerald Hill, superintendent of Glenview School District in Illinois; Michael Meissen, superintendent of Glenbard Township in Lombard, Ill., and Curt Tryggestad, superintendent of Little Falls Public Schools.

The new superintendent will replace Melissa Krull, who resigned in September after implementing controversial changes in school boundaries, largely done so low-income students weren't concentrated at one elementary school.

The board hired the national search firm School Exec Connect to conduct the superintendent search, which yielded 31 applicants. In addition to the three finalists, the board also considered Nancy Allen-Mastro, assistant superintendent of Bloomington Public Schools, and Nancy Rajanen, superintendent of Waconia Public Schools, among its final five contenders in the selection process.

Since then, the board whittled the list of five down to three:

• Hill has been the superintendent in Glenview schools since 2004. From 1996 to 2004, he was the superintendent at Tinley Park, Ill. He was the assistant superintendent for instruction in Rockwood, Mo., from 1993 to 1996. Before that he was the executive director of elementary education for the Independent School District in Garland, Texas. Hill has master's and bachelor's degrees from the University of Minnesota. He earned his doctorate at the University of North Texas.

• Before becoming the superintendent in Lombard, Ill., Meissen was a high school principal in Madison, Wis., from 1992 to 2006. From 1991 to 1992, he was a high school principal in Oregon, Wis. From 1998 to 1991, he was the principal of East High School in Madison. Prior to that, he was a middle school principal in Sheboygan, Wis. He earned a bachelor's degree from the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater, and a master's degree and a doctorate from the University of Wisconsin in Madison.

• Tryggestad has been superintendent in Little Falls since 2006. From 2003 to 2006, he was the superintendent at Esko Public Schools. Prior to that, he was a secondary principal at Pine City Public Schools. He earned his bachelor's degree from Luther College and a master's degree from St. Cloud State University.

The finalists were undergoing final interviews this week. Meissen was to be interviewed Tuesday, and Tryggestad and Hill are scheduled to interview today and Thursday.

Parents, community members and Eden Prairie staff are invited to attend meetings with the candidates from 5 to 6 p.m. today and Thursday in the board room of the Administrative Services Center, 8100 School Road. The meeting with Tryggestad is slated for today and the meeting with Hill is scheduled for Thursday.

Kim McGuire • 612-673-4469

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