The Redwood Area School District has announced it will interview four candidates for the role of superintendent. The candidates include Becky Cselovszki, who is currently serving as superintendent for the St. James Public School District; Brandon Girard, who is serving as the elementary school principal for the Castlewood School District in Castlewood; S.D., Mike Pagel, who is the K-12 principal for the Fulda School District; and Wade McKittrick, who is serving as the superintendent for the Wabasso School District.

The Redwood Area Board of Education is conducting a superintendent search due to the announcement that Rick Ellingworth, current Redwood Area School District superintendent, will be retiring at the conclusion of the 2019-20 school year.

These four candidates will take part in a series of first-round interviews, which are scheduled to take place Jan. 13 at the school. The school board is also inviting the community to take part in the interview process. 

The interviews with the public will be held in the Estebo Performing Arts Center (PAC) and will be held beginning at 3:30 p.m. and will continue until 7:30 p.m. Community members, parents, staff and students are all encouraged to attend.

The schedule of public interviews is as follows:

• Mike Pagel – 3:30-4:15 p.m.

• Wade McKittrick – 4:30-5:15 p.m.

• Becky Cselovszki – 5:30-6:15 p.m.

• Brandon Girard – 6:30-7:15 p.m.

School district administration and the school board will be conducting simultaneous interviews. The school board will hold a special board meeting in the school’s board room, beginning at 8:30 pm to discuss the next steps.

According to Bruce Miles of Big River Group, LLC, who is serving as a consultant for the school district as it proceeds with the selection process, the school board has already put in a lot of work to get to the point of the first round of interviews.

During the public interview portion, those who attend will be given note cards on which they can submit questions. Those questions will then be screened based on legality and topic, said Miles, adding all of the same questions that are posed will be asked to each of the candidates.

The candidates will appear for the open interviews individually.

“I want to encourage the public to attend these interviews,” said Miles, adding the more feedback that the school board receives the better chance they have of selecting the candidate who will be the right fit for the school district. “These are all strong candidates."

During the meeting that night the school board will talk with Miles about the options, which he said could include narrowing down the list of second-round interview candidates. The board could opt to interview its top two candidates or interview one. Of course, he added, the board could also opt not to select any of them.