As of July 1, 2019, Rob Brandl officially took over the role of superintendent for the Cedar Mountain School District. However, for Brandl, walking into the office of the superintendent for the district that serves students in the Morgan and Franklin areas is not new.
In fact, Brandl is pretty familiar with the district, because he has been involved with it in one form or another for several years. While serving in the Comfrey School District, Brandl was first exposed to Cedar Mountain as a coach. That experience was expanded in 2016 when he became the principal for the high school.
During the 2018-19 school year, Brandl was able to begin the transition into the role of superintendent, as he worked alongside now retired Cedar Mountain superintendent Bob Tews in an assistant superintendent role while continuing his role as the school level principal.
While Brandl understands the complexities of being a superintendent, what he also says is that the vision of what he wants to accomplish is straightforward. He wants to lead the district down the path toward success.
“Cedar Mountain feels like home to me,” said Brandl. “I really love it here.”
Brandl said he has appreciated the transition that was offered as he moved into his new role, adding he really thinks that has helped to prepare him as he begins his first year in the full-time role. Brandl said helping students at all levels is an important part of his role, whether that is a high-school student who is preparing for life after secondary school or it is the kids who are part of the school’s childcare program.
As the leader for the school district, Brandl knows a lot of focus is on student achievement, adding he recognizes when students see that success the district succeeds, too.
Brandl admits he is a numbers guy and enjoys the financial aspects of the new job, adding he understands that his role also includes finding ways to be efficient in terms of the school’s finances and yet to provide the best education that is possible for everyone.
Originally from Sleepy Eye, Brandl earned his education degree from St. Cloud State University and he earned his masters degree and his administrative certification from the Mankato campus of Minnesota State University.
Even though Brandl said he always enjoyed teaching he said the idea of being in administration has been part of his long-term plan. He is just glad to know that he has been able to climb that administrative ladder in the same district. Being a superintendent is about looking at the big picture, said Brandl, adding that also means being able to pay attention to details.
At Cedar Mountain this year a new math intervention program is being implemented at the high-school level. Also, the high school will have a new principal this year.
Brandl added the district is also adding two new enrichment programs, including visual arts and E-Sports. Both are intended to engage even more of the student body in an effort to help students find a reason to further identify with the school.
“We want to engage more students in what is going on here at Cedar Mountain” he said.
Brandl said he is looking forward to being more involved in the community and working with parents who have students at Cedar Mountain.
“I want to find ways to meet families where they are at,” he said.
The public will have the chance to interact with Brandl prior to the first day of school at open house events, which are being held Aug. 28. In Franklin, the open house is from 4:30 until 6 p.m. and in Morgan the open house is from 6:30-8 p.m.