Alden-Conger, Glenville-Emmons select new superintendent to start in July

Published 5:18 am Tuesday, March 26, 2024

Getting your Trinity Audio player ready...

After final interviews with two candidates last week, leaders of Glenville-Emmons and Alden-Conger schools have selected a new superintendent who will begin in July.

Lisa Hajek, chairwoman of the Glenville-Emmons School Board, said Elementary Principal Allen Berg of the Staples-Motley School District will begin as superintendent for both districts July 1, after the boards at both schools in January accepted the resignation of current Superintendent Brian Shanks, effective at the end of the school year.

Hajek said she was impressed with Berg’s energy and enthusiasm and is excited for the new ideas he will bring to the districts.

Email newsletter signup

In addition to his time as a principal, Berg worked previously as director of community education and communication services at Big Lake Schools and before that worked in the Farmington School District.

“Allen is a very energetic individual who is excited about education and able to see both districts from a different perspective,” said Chad Schmidt, school board chairman at Alden-Conger Schools. “He holds many of the qualities that were identified by the community and staff when we conducted a survey in February.”

The districts utilized a search team through South Central Service Cooperative to find the new superintendent, along with a combined board of three school board members from Alden-Conger and three from Glenville-Emmons, as well as a separate school administrator team — made up of business managers, athletic directors and teachers from both districts — and a community team.

They started the interview process with four candidates in the first round, who were interviewed by the combined board and community member team, and who narrowed the choice down to two finalists.

In the final round of interviews, a week and a half later, the combined board and the administrator team conducted interviews.

The two finalists were Berg and Heidi Venem, who previously worked as a teacher in Albert Lea, as the director of the Austin-Albert Lea Special Education Cooperative and as director of special education in Mason City.

Hajek said both boards will approve the final contracts with Berg at meetings in April — Alden-Conger on April 8 and Glenville-Emmons on April 9.

Though the superintendent position was previously split 60/40, with Alden-Conger paying the larger share, she said both boards mutually decided to change that so the costs will be split evenly between the two districts based on needs.