School board chooses new superintendent for NRHEG

Published 7:20 am Sunday, April 28, 2013

NEW RICHLAND — The New Richland-Hartland-Ellendale-Geneva School District will likely soon have a new superintendent.

The school board offered the superintendent position to Dennis Goodwin, a superintendent from Platte, S.D., on Thursday. School board member John Harrington said there were two final candidates interview Thursday, Goodwin and Kathleen Mortensen, an administrator from the metro area.

“We do a rating system and take very much into consideration what the public thinks,” Harrington said. “This is probably the biggest decision a community our size can make.”

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The two candidates had the chance to meet with the public, and Harrington said picking Goodwin was an easy decision.

“He’s just a very nice gentleman,” Harrington said. “We’re just very, very pleased.”

Goodwin has been the superintendent for Platte-Geddes School District for one year and has 10 years of experience as a math, science and business teacher at a school in Woodbury. He also has 20 years of business experience, according to the NRHEG district website. Platte-Geddes has a total enrollment of about 425 students; NRHEG has about 950 students in the whole district.

School board members did a site visit at Goodwin’s current school in Platte, S.D., on Friday. Harrington guessed that early this week a contract will be signed and the decision will be made official.

The school board started the search even though the district has a superintendent in place, Kevin Wellen. Wellen’s contract expires June 30, and the board did have the option to sign another contract with him. Harrington previously said Wellen has made it known that he would like to move to a larger district and has been interviewing with multiple other school districts.

“We knew that all along, and as time went on, his search for a job became more evident,” Harrington said. “Our duty as a board is to be proactive, but he’s done a good job and our district is in very good shape.”