Dover-Eyota offers superintendent job to Byron High School alum Jeremy Frie
Frie graduated from Byron High School in 1996 before going on to pursue his career in education. He has worked for Minneota Public Schools since 2013.
EYOTA — The Dover-Eyota School Board unanimously approved a motion Tuesday night, offering the position of superintendent to Byron High School alum Jeremy Frie.
Frie and two other candidates had a final round of interviews with the school board before it voted on the choice. The board's decision is contingent on Frie accepting the offer and agreeing to a contract with the district.
"I liked the fact that he talked about being a servant leader and being here for the community," said John Ostrowski, assistant middle and high school principal, who helped with the selection process.
Frie has been a principal and community education coordinator for Minneota Public Schools since 2013, according to the district's website. Minneota is in southwest Minnesota, about 12 miles northwest of Marshall.
Frie graduated from Byron High School in 1996 before going on to pursue his career in education.
During the hour-long interview, the school board quizzed Frie on everything from how he would handle budget cuts to educational trends he finds relevant today.
It was during that interview that Frie spoke about his willingness to do whatever's needed in the district, despite the high-level position he was pursuing.
"I've served lunch. I've run a study hall for a semester. I keep asking our head custodian if I can drive that squeegee machine — and I'm going to someday," Frie said to laughs. "We lost our custodial staff with COVID and close contacts, and we wanted to keep our building open. I wasn't above sweeping floors."
As a candidate for the position of superintendent, Frie also spoke about how he would handle system-wide issues.
He talked about the importance of having a positive work culture in order to keep staff, touting his current school's high-retention record. And, in an era when schools are scrambling to hire and retain all the teachers they can, Frie said he sometimes has had to get creative.
"Teachers are like prized free agents right now. It's almost like a college recruiting visit when you have a teacher (come)," Frie said. "I found my ag teacher on the roof across the street from the school. It was our fifth-grade teacher's husband. She made a comment in passing that he wished he'd gone into teaching...I was watching our students and him put up shingles, and I had an idea."
He also talked with the board about mental health needs in education, how he would balance academics and extracurricular activities, and how he would market the district to prospective families.
The board also asked him to give an overview of what his first months with the district would look like.
The candidate took the opportunity to throw a little humor into the situation.
"The first month here," he began, "I'm finally going to find out what a superintendent does all day."