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Interim superintendent Anderson prepares to leave post

By Karen Colbenson

Post-Bulletin, Austin MN

The walls and desk in the superintendent’s office at Austin Public Schools are bare once again, signaling the beginning of another major transition for the district and community in one year.

Bruce Anderson, Austin’s interim superintendent the past school year, said he hopes his year’s work will make that transition as comfortable as possible for everyone.

"If I’ve done my job, it’s going to be a seamless transition," said Anderson.

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Anderson began working in Austin on July 1 last year, after the former superintendent, Candace Raskin, resigned to take a faculty position at Minnesota State Unversity, Mankato. The school board hired Anderson for one year while they searched for a permanent replacement. David Krenz, superintendent of LaCrescent-Hokah Schools, was hired in December and begins work on Wednesday.

Many in the district and community say Anderson has done exactly what he promised a year ago when he accepted the temporary position in the district’s top post.

Several board members have said they believe Anderson has had a calming effect in the district and community, after several months of controversy on the board.

"I think we had a tremendous year," said Don Fox, board chairman. "He accomplished his job -- making it ready for the new superintendent."

Others have described Anderson as "a very positive person", "an outstanding leader" and "honest."

Anderson said he is humbled and gratified by the many positive notes and comments he has received from district staff members over the past year.

"I want to give credit where credit is due," said Anderson. "I want to thank the people who, day in and day out, make people feel valued. Our focus was on results and relationships, and we’ve made progress. There is a much greater sense of unity."

Anderson said he believes Krenz is the right person to continue the job.

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"I think the board made a wonderful choice," said Anderson. "He’s a good person with a solid background, and it’s going to be a nice transition."

As for himself, Anderson, whose home is in Richfield, Minn., a Twin Cities suburb, said he plans to take his wife on a date and spend more time with family and his grandchildren. He’ll also continue working part-time as an adjunct professor at the University of St. Thomas in St. Paul.

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