Albert Lea superintendent not offered Elk River position

Published 7:51 am Friday, February 17, 2017

Albert Lea Area Schools Superintendent Mike Funk will not be the next superintendent in Elk River.

The Independent School District 728 School Board voted on Thursday to offer Daniel Bittman, the superintendent of Sauk Rapids-Rice School District, the position of superintendent of schools.

“It was a privilege to be recruited for the position of superintendent in the Elk River Area School District,” Funk said. “This was the most competitive field of quality educational leaders I have seen in years.”

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Funk said he agreed to participate in the process because it was close to the family of his wife, Anne; and it provided him a professional challenge because of the growth District 728 has seen.

Funk said he still has a lot of work to do in Albert Lea as the district works toward meeting the needs of all students.

Funk, who has been the superintendent in Albert Lea since 2009, was one of three finalists for the position, along with Bittman and William Gronseth, Duluth Public Schools superintendent.

Funk, Bittman and Gronseth went through several interviews this week, including meetings with board members, staff, students and community members.

The position opened in June after former Superintendent Mark Bezek announced his retirement.

Bruce Watkins has been serving as the interim superintendent of ISD 728. He will complete his services June 30.


About Sam Wilmes

Sam Wilmes covers crime, courts and government for the Albert Lea Tribune.

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