At Thursday's special school board meeting, Sandy Gundlach from the Minnesota School Board Association helped the St. James school board piece together a timeline for hiring a new superintendent.

Most hires take three to six months to complete, noted Gundlach.

Gundlach also emphasized to not "hire the best of the worst."

Before dealing with any candidate interviews or discussions, community listening sessions will be held on February 27th in the Community Building at 10 a.m. and at Little Theater at 6:30 p.m.

In addition to having the community sessions, an online survey has been set up to gauge the community on what qualities they want the superintendent to have. 

The board set the deadline for applications for March 23rd. Finalists would be picked a week later on March 30th. The first round of interviews is scheduled for April 3rd-4th, with the second round of interviews conducted on April 7th.

"It's important that— once you decide who you're going to interview— to have that first round of interviews that same week and the second round of interviews by mid-week the next week," said Gundlach. "It's just good to keep that follow-up going so that people know that you're interested."

Contract negotiations will take place on the 8th and 9th of April. Approval of the contract will be at the regular school board meeting scheduled for the 20th. 

After reviewing the timeline, Gundlach and the board went into marketing strategies to attract the best candidates.

Among the strengths listed were community support, diversity, city celebrations, and a strong farming community.