SARTELL - The Sartell-St. Stephen School Board has begun the process for hiring the district's next superintendent.

During a work study session this (Monday) evening, the board heard from former Sauk Rapids-Rice Superintendent Greg Vandal about the next possible steps.  Vandal has worked as a consultant six times in the past year-and-a-half helping other districts in central Minnesota find a superintendent.

As for a timeline, Vandal says the most common time for a superintendent to start is July 1st, which is the start of a district's fiscal year.  He says it's not realistic for Sartell-St. Stephen to think they'll have a new superintendent hired in time for the new school year in September, and the soonest would probably would be January 1st.

The school board decided to form a search committee made-up of three board members.  One of their first decisions will be deciding whether to use an external search firm, which seemed to be the general consensus among most board members.

The board also discussed the hiring of an interim superintendent, until a permanent candidate can be hired.  They agreed to begin discussions with current Director of Learning Services Mike Spanier.  He already has his superintendent's license, and he has expressed a willingness to do it.  A final decision, including working out a contract with Spanier, still needs to be worked out.

Current superintendent Joe Hill will still be with the district through June 30th.