K-M selects Grant as new superintendent
By Edie Grossfield
The Kasson-Mantorville School Board made an unanimous choice for superintendent on Monday, offering the position to Peter Grant of Plainview public schools.
Board chairman Mark Packard called Grant after a 7 p.m. board meeting to offer him the job. Grant, who is superintendent at Plainview, accepted the offer, pending a mutually agreeable contract, Packard said.
Grant's three years of superintendent experience were the deciding factor over the other finalist for the position, Joe Brown, who is principal of Austin High School, Packard said.
Grant has 27 years of experience in education, including 17 in administration.
Board member Candy Ellingworth said she is relieved and excited about the board's choice.
"I think Peter Grant's strengths are a perfect match for KM's needs right now," Ellingworth said.
The board began the search process in February following the resignation in November of current Kasson-Mantorville Superintendent Michael Smith. Smith will finish out his contract June 30. Then, he's headed to Rockford, Minn., to be a superintendent there.
Reeling a bit from the news today, Grant said he is excited about the job.
"I'm looking forward to the opprtunity. It should be a great challenge for me and I really look forward to helping the Kasson-Mantorville school district move forward," he said.
Grant said he looked at many openings in the state, but Kasson-Mantorville was one of few that piqued his interest.
"I just know that it's a progressive school district, a good community, and the timing in my career couldn't be better as far as going to a larger school district. I wanted to stay in southeast Minnesota, so it seemed like a perfect match," Grant said.
Kasson-Mantorville received about 30 applications for the job.
After narrowing the search to seven people on March 15, the board whittled it to four candidates about two weeks later. Two of those finalists dropped out of the running, leaving Grant and Brown.
The board was searching for a candidate who possessed a strong educational background, solid knowledge of education financing and leadership qualities, Packard said.
Just as Smith has had to deal with funding shortages for operating Kasson-Mantorville schools, so will Grant. He also will need to tend to the district's growing pains.
"We've said as a district that the first thing we need to do is make sure we understand where we are financially," Packard said. "Once that's behind us, then we need to go in and re-address building needs. We're growing, and we're going to continue to grow, and right now, we have issues with space."