COLD SPRING -- ROCORI hasn't had to pick a new superintendent for 16 years, but that all changed with the arrest of Scott Staska last month.

For now, they've chosen a man to help the district move forward. John Thein, who has held a few acting and interim roles before is no stranger to stepping into a district in transition.

Thein has been in education for several decades, including 17 years as the superintendent for Roseville Area Schools. Thein says he's got "mirrors in his home" and knows his role isn't a long one but knows it's an important one.

"[My role] is to really, go through the process of healing, and making sure the district stays on track and moving forward."

Thein says he'll take lessons from similar, past roles he's held. He was also the interim superintendent at St. Paul Public Schools for 13 months.

"In St. Paul when I served there for 13 months, they had a stressful situation when I arrived, and it's kind of the same thing here."

Looking forward, he says the school board shouldn't have a difficult time finding a candidate, with how high a standing ROCORI has.

"ROCORI is right between two really growing areas, Willmar and St. Cloud, thriving and dynamic communities, and in an hour and 15 minutes you could be in downtown Minneapolis or St. Paul if you wanted to."

He adds that he's excited to help the district find someone who can become a part of the community.

The school board was given an informational presentation at their board meeting Thursday night. No decisions have been made on the new superintendent yet, however, they plan on building a "profile" of the candidate they'd like.

The details on that profile have yet to be decided, along with whether it will be an in-house process, or they'll hire an outside consultant.

Thein was named the acting superintendent recently. Staska had been on administrative leave until he resigned.  He was ROCORI's superintendent since 2002. His case should be decided within the next few weeks.

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