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Wanted: Roosevelt elementary principal

There is officially a job opening for an elementary school principal at Roosevelt.

The Detroit Lakes School Board voted to accept Jerry Hanson's resignation after 10 years on the job.

Hanson took another principal position in Fargo -- a move he announced at the end of the school year.

Hanson had originally asked for a three-year leave of absence from the district because he was close to getting full retirement in Minnesota.

The board, however, denied that request, and reiterated its reasons during Monday morning's school board meeting.

"I just don't think we want something like that hanging over the head of the prospective hiree," said Board Vice Chair Tom Seaworth, "knowing that if we have somebody on a three year leave of absence that might want to come back, even though we'd hired somebody else, legally we'd have to let him."

The school board then gave its OK for Superintendent Doug Froke to post a one-year principal position for the 2011-2012 year only.

Although some expressed concerns with having temporary leadership, ultimately the board decided on a one-year contract with the intention of working on possible restructuring within the schools -- both physical and administrative.

A consultant's report from this past spring (The Cheney/Rollie Report) suggested a few possibilities that could entirely revamp the schools -- including possible building, remodeling and re-grouping of students and faculty.

"So I think buying a year (with a one-year principal contract) is a good thing as we look at the Cheney report and what we're going to do with the campus up there," said board member Tom Klyve, "especially if we're going to reconfigure and possibly want to hire somebody with a different skill set than what we're looking at now."

Superintendent Doug Froke says making the position a one-year contract will also allow for a larger pool of applicants for next year -- a problem he says comes with Hanson's late resignation date.

"Will we get some good, quality applicants? I'm sure we will," said Froke, "but this will allow the person we hire to be a part of the restructuring process and possibly still be employed within the district next year, depending on which direction we go."