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Gronseth Looks Ahead, Feels 'Rededicated' to Duluth Schools

Briggs LeSavage
April 23, 2015 09:25 PM

Duluth's Superintendent Bill Gronseth said Thursday he's ready to move forward and feels rededicated to the district after finishing second for a Metro-area superintendent job Wednesday. 

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Gronseth said he's looking forward to further developing both his "Think Kids" initiative and a strategic vision for Duluth schools.

"We already have a strong direction, and I'm looking forward to continuing that work with the community and our students and staff and making those visions a reality," Gronseth said. 

Gronseth was one of two finalists for the Prior Lake-Savage School District superintendent position. Each candidate was interviewed for about an hour on Wednesday night, and after hours of deliberation, the school board chose Teri Staloch, the current assistant superintendent of the Osseo, Minn. School District. 

Gronseth said he does not plan on applying for jobs in any other districts. 

"Going through this process has really reaffirmed my dedication to Duluth and how connected my family and I are to this region," Gronseth said.  

During his time as superintendent, Gronseth completed the District's $315 million Long Range Facilities Plan and also worked to develop the "Think Kids" community conversations. But his time has also been marred by drama among Duluth's School Board Members, including allegations that member Art Johnston started an altercation with Gronseth and another member. 

Johnston pointed to that altercation Thursday, saying he hopes Gronseth will "start dealing with the problems he's created." 

Meanwhile, School Board Chair Judy Seliga Punyko said she felt relieved after hearing Gronseth will be staying in the Duluth District. 

"It would be devastating to lose both him and (Asst. Superintendent Ed Crawford)," Seliga Punyko said. 

Member Harry Welty said he hopes to see Gronseth and the School Board work closer together. 

"I would hope that he would try to exercise enough influence to coach the school board to get along a little better because frankly we have been a terrible distraction from the business of educating children," Welty said. 

Gronseth graduated from the Duluth school system and worked for the District for more than 20 years.


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Briggs LeSavage

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