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Six finalists have been named in the search for a new superintendent for the Hastings area school district. Since they were announced early on Thursday, May 11, though, two candidates have dropped out leaving the field at four.

The four finalists are:

• La Shawn Ray, executive director, Hiawatha Academies, Minneapolis; 

• Dr. Kent Mutchler, superintendent, Geneva Community School District, Geneva, Illinois;

• Dr. Tamara Champa, superintendent, Pine Island Schools, Pine Island; and

• Dr. John Bezek, principal, Prior Lake Public Schools, Savage; 

According to the school district, the semi-finalists were selected from a pool of 11 applicants based on criteria established by the school board and input received from a community survey. 

Interviews are scheduled to begin at 12:15 p.m. May 16 with the five remaining finalists. All interviews will be held in the Hastings district office conference room A and are open to the public. Following the interviews, the ISD 200 school board will move into deliberations to determine round two finalists. Deliberations will be held at the Hastings Middle School Media Center at 6 p.m. The deliberations will also be available to view live on the Hastings Community TV Facebook page.
The second round of interviews is set for May 23, and a special school board meeting is planned for May 31 to approve the contract for the new superintendent.
Two candidates have removed themselves from contention. They are:
• Dr. Michelle Mortenson, superintendent, Buffalo Lake-Hector-Stewart Public Schools, Buffalo Lake; and
• Dr. Brenda Lewis, assistant superintendent, Grand Forks Public Schools, Grand Forks, North Dakota.

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