District 622 denies superintendent contract

Search for new top administrator to continue

In a move that surprised many, District 622 has resumed its search for a new superintendent following a 4-3 school board vote Tuesday, April 14, to deny a proposed employment contract with Dr. Ryan Laager. According to a district statement, board members were unable to reach a consensus on his contract after “much deliberation and thoughtful consideration.”  

The North St. Paul-Maplewood-Oakdale board had picked Laager for the district’s top administrative position and entered into contract negotiations with him in late February.

Board members will discuss the next steps in the superintendent search process at a special school board meeting Tuesday, April 28, in the District Education Center’s Board Room at 4:30 p.m.

The board began its search to replace 10-year superintendent Patty Phillips last fall by forming a superintendent search subcommittee. Phillips will retire at the end of June.

The district hired the national search firm School Exec Connect to locate a slate of top candidates. The board first interviewed seven candidates prior to narrowing the number down to three finalists Feb. 20.

The other two finalists chosen for the superintendent position were North High Principal Greg Nelson, and Lori Simon, Robbinsdale Area Schools’ executive director of academics and elementary schools.

Laager is the Stillwater Area Public Schools’ executive director of secondary education and K-12 curriculum, and has been with District 834 since 2008. A former teacher, he was the Stillwater High School principal from 2008 to 2103. He holds a doctorate degree in education, superintendent license and master’s degree in curriculum and education from Saint Mary’s University.

-- Joshua Nielsen

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