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Interim superintendent Brandon Lunak selected to lead Moorhead Area Public Schools

MOORHEAD - The school district here has a familiar face as its new superintendent. Moorhead Area Public Schools interim superintendent Brandon Lunak will remove "interim" from his title as he takes on the role in full following the school board's...

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Brandon Lunak

MOORHEAD – The school district here has a familiar face as its new superintendent.

Moorhead Area Public Schools interim superintendent Brandon Lunak will remove “interim” from his title as he takes on the role in full following the school board’s decision Wednesday, March 28.

“Tonight we found the new face of the district for the next couple years,” said board chair Scott Steffes.

A pool of five finalists was narrowed to three semifinalists over the weekend, including Lunak, Superintendent John Landgaard of Worthington, Minn.,  and Superintendent Randi Anderson of Pelican Rapids, Minn. Anderson also applied to lead the West Fargo school district.

On Wednesday, following tours of the community and schools, a series of final interviews were conducted with the board along with question-and-answer sessions with staff members.

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Board members said the slate of candidates was exceptional and all had strengths and areas for improvement. For Lunak, most of his experience has been in business and administration rather than curriculum, but his focus on collaboration and building on the connections already created in the district made him the top pick.

Lunak was named interim superintendent in December 2017 and has served as superintendent of finance and operations since July 2014. Prior to that, Lunak was superintendent of the Waubun-Ogema-White Earth Public Schools.

Board member Matt Valan said that Lunak has the ability to lead the district through its next bond referendum dealing with the high school, pointing to the trust Lunak has earned with stakeholders and being able to “hit the ground running right now.”

Though board member Mark Altenburg did suggest the board take more time before voting Wednesday evening after a day full of interviews, he ultimately made the motion to offer the position to Lunak. The motion passed 6 to 1, with Kara Gloe the only member not voting in favor.  

The School Board will be conducting contract negotiations with Lunak, which is expected to be reviewed by the board on April 9 and recommended for approval on April 23.

Lunak earned his bachelor’s and master’s degrees from University of North Dakota in Grand Forks and his K-12 principal and superintendent’s license from Minnesota State University Moorhead. He is currently pursuing his doctorate in educational leadership from MSUM.

Kim Hyatt is a reporter for The Forum of Fargo-Moorhead covering community issues and other topics. She previously worked for the Owatonna People's Press where she received the Minnesota Newspaper Association's Dave Pyle New Journalist Award in 2016. Later that year, she joined The Forum as a night reporter and is now part of the investigative team. She's a 2014 graduate of the University of Minnesota Duluth.
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