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Board meets interim candidate

BARNESVILLE, Minn. -- School Board members here could hire an interim superintendent as early as Tuesday. A consulting firm hired by the board has recommended it interview Warren Schmidt of Alexandria for the position. Schmidt will meet with the ...

BARNESVILLE, Minn. -- School Board members here could hire an interim superintendent as early as Tuesday.

A consulting firm hired by the board has recommended it interview Warren Schmidt of Alexandria for the position.

Schmidt will meet with the seven-member board at 6 p.m. Tuesday in the school library.

If the board agrees, Schmidt could be hired on an interim basis to replace Superintendent Todd Cameron, who plans to resign Jan. 31.

"Warren has a good track record working with small and large schools," said Don Andersen, a consultant for The ADM Group.

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"I have confidence in both his background and his capabilities," Andersen said Wednesday.

Schmidt has been a schools superintendent in Minnesota for more than 30 years.

Following stints near Mankato, Preston and Crosby-Ironton, Schmidt led Glencoe-Silver Lake Schools for eight years before retiring in 1998.

More recently, he acted as interim superintendent in Waubun from November 1999 until May 2000 and in Pine River-Backus in 2000-01.

Reached at home, Schmidt said he knows little about the Barnesville district. But he said he could bring a wealth of experience to the school.

"I bring a good background in finance," he said. "And I've been in districts where wounds needed to be healed."

Schmidt seemed hesitant to declare himself the leading candidate in Barnesville.

"We haven't been on a date yet," he said. "I'm not sure they'll want to marry me."

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Employees who've worked with Schmidt in the past urge Barnesville to court him.

Glencoe-Silver Lake school accountant Marcia Belter praised Schmidt's leadership.

"He's a warm and friendly man with a lot of experience," she said. "He's very patient, so he'll be able to deal with any problems (in Barnesville) -- if there are any."

Cindy Felthouse, a payroll clerk in Pine River, called Schmidt "a people person."

"He always shook your hand and said good morning," Felthouse said. "He was very well liked here."

Andersen said he feels Schmidt is a strong candidate to lead Barnesville.

If the board likes Schmidt, Andersen will recommend the group negotiate a salary and a contract through June 30.

The ADM Group already has received six applications for a permanent superintendent in Barnesville.

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The consulting firm has sent 60 postings to placement bureaus seeking applicants, Andersen said. The deadline to apply is Feb. 18.

Readers can reach Forum reporter Cole Short at (701) 241-5557

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