ISD 200’s search for a Superintendent down to four candidates

Six were originally chosen with two withdrawing.


And then there were four…

Hastings Independent School District 200 (ISD200) has been actively engaged in a search to replace Dr. Robert McDowell as Superintendent since his announcement in March that he would be retiring at the end of the school year.

In a previous article, Dr. McDowell stated:

“I shared with the school board that I will be resigning after the end of this school year. This has been an extremely long and difficult decision for me, and it carries a lot of mixed emotions because I truly love this work, believe in this work, and understand the importance of our work in supporting your students. This is my 28th year in public education, and upon much reflection and conversation with my family, I believe the right decision for me at this time is to pursue other endeavors that will continue to support the work in different ways.

The timing of this decision should provide the school board with ample time to begin a selection process. I will “continue to support the work and the board through the rest of the year and will be leaving with an extreme amount of pride. I want to thank all of our Raider families for the support you continue to provide the amazing students and staff we have in Hastings.”

Since that announcement, the school board hired the Minnesota Schools Board Association to facilitate the search. They conducted a community survey to assess the thoughts of the district stakeholders on April 24th. That was followed up with a special meeting to determine finalists on May 10th. May 16th the first round of interviews was held with the 11 candidates which was narrowed down to six finalists. Of those six finalists, two had withdrawn their names for consideration later that day.

The four remaining candidates are:

La Shawn Ray, Executive Director, Hiawatha Academies, Minneapolis, MN

Dr. Kent Mutchler, Superintendent, Geneva Community School District, Geneva, IL

Dr. Tamara Champa, Superintendent, Pine Island Schools, Pine Island, MN

Dr. John Bezek, Principal, Prior Lake Public Schools, Savage, MN

These candidates will have one final interview on May 16th beginning at 12:15 p.m. The interviews will be held in the Hastings School District Offices on the west end of the Middle School located at 1000 West 11th Street in Conference Room A. The interviews are open to the public.

Once the interviews are completed, the deliberations and determinations of which candidates will move forward to the second round of interviews will be held in the Middle School Media Center, the same location for School Board meetings, at 6:00 p.m. This will also be open to the public and additionally will be streamed by Hastings Community Television on their Facebook page.