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Helena School Board names four finalists for superintendent post

2012-03-07T00:08:00Z 2012-03-22T00:14:24Z Helena School Board names four finalists for superintendent postBy ALANA LISTOE Independent Record Helena Independent Record
March 07, 2012 12:08 am  • 

After nearly a three-hour executive session Tuesday, the Helena School Board named four finalists for the superintendent position.

Helena Interim Superintendent Keith Meyer, Butte Superintendent Linda Reksten, Stevensville Superintendent Kent Kultgen and Daniel Snowberger, an assistant superintendent in Colorado Springs, Colo., are the finalists who will be interviewed next week.

Vice Chairwoman Aidan Myhre said the timing for the search that brought in 20 strong applicants was good.

“There were a lot of other superintendent positions open and we were on the front end of that,” she said, adding that the district had an outstanding pool of candidates.

Having that number of candidates, Myhre said, speaks volumes for the Helena community, its support for school in the community, and the collaborative nature district-wide.

Board Chairman Michael O’Neil said the big focus is someone who can make a difference in ensuring all students succeed with a proven track record. He said the new superintendent should not only have the ability to manage but also to lead.

Meyer has worked at the central office in Helena for 14 years and served as the superintendent since Bruce Messinger left last summer. Meyer has a bachelor’s degree in elementary education from Montana State University and a master’s degree in school leadership and elementary education from the University of Northern Colorado.

Reksten earned a bachelor’s degree in biology from MSU–Billings, two master’s degrees in education and in curriculum/administration from George Fox University and Point Loma Nazarene University, and a doctorate in teaching studies from the University of California – Los Angeles.

Kultgen received a bachelor’s degree in secondary education from Northern Montana College, a master’s in educational leadership and a doctorate in educational leadership from MSU.

Snowberger works for the Harrison School District in Colorado. He holds a bachelor’s degree in elementary education and a master’s in educational leadership from Nova Southeastern University.

Board members said four is a good number to interview because it brings a lot of diverse experiences and complex skill sets.

Myhre says selecting a superintendent is likely the most important decision the board will make, and she encouraged community members to participate in the interviews, community meetings and dialogue next week.

Trustees will interview one candidate each day Monday through Thursday, spending each day touring schools, visiting with employee groups and having dinner with trustees. There will be two community meet-and-greets each day with a public interview at 7:30 p.m. each day at Front Street Learning Center.

The board hopes to reconvene on Friday to discuss the interviews.

Reporter Alana Listoe: 447-4081, or

Copyright 2015 Helena Independent Record. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

(5) Comments

  1. Motorchild
    Report Abuse
    Motorchild - March 09, 2012 3:32 am
    What are the nine school board of trustees getting paid to do that a superintendent is needed? Is it because they can't agree on anything and need someone to make final decisions? Probably. So I say hire a superintendent and cut the nine trustees down to four. That would make up for most the school's budget shortfall.
  2. pichia
    Report Abuse
    pichia - March 07, 2012 6:23 pm
    A Ph.D. in education -- not sure whether I'm laughing so hard I'm crying or just crying.
  3. serviam
    Report Abuse
    serviam - March 07, 2012 3:07 pm
    Heaven forbid that the school board look at candidates from other areas of the country. They might be afraid of what they hear about the quality of public education in the Helena School District. We wouldn't want the students of Helena to actually go and be competitive in the big, bad world outside of Montana, would we? Or that they strive to attend college anywhere else then MSU or U of M?
  4. Independent
    Report Abuse
    Independent - March 07, 2012 10:24 am
    I beleive steeline has something to do this afternoon other than post on every story in the IR, check those institutions and get back to us. Have a nice day.
  5. steeline
    Report Abuse
    steeline - March 07, 2012 9:27 am
    I hope someone checks out all the institutions that the candidates have degrees from. We don't need anyone who has a degree from a Cracker Jack Box. We have to get America Right.

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