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Grand Meadow superintendent headed to Fairmont

Joe Brown said he always liked the fact that Austin High School had a choir and a band.

The former Austin High School principal and current Grand Meadow superintendent will head back to a more comprehensive school system when he starts his new position as superintendent of Fairmont Area Schools in July.

Brown signed a three-year contract for $125,000 annually that begins July 1, according to Fairmont Area Schools staff. He will replace Butch Hansen, who announced his retirement in December 2009.

"I'm 59 years old. I plan to work until I'm 70," Brown said.

Brown left Austin Public Schools in 2005 to take the job of superintendent in Grand Meadow. He presently serves as the district's 5-12 principal and also teaches an Advanced Placement course. He said the Grand Meadow district could share its next superintendent with another school district in the area.


He said he will continue to live in Austin with his wife, State Rep. Robin Brown, DFL-Austin.

Brown will have issues to deal with once he starts his new job. Fairmont is going to vote this week on a referendum that could add on to one of the district's two elementary schools.

It also has a trend of students open-enrolling out of the district, a trend Brown aims to reverse since one of seven Grand Meadow students comes from an area outside the district's borders.

Brown said he chose to leave Grand Meadow because the opportunity to get back to a district similar to Austin presented itself. He said a consulting company called him and asked him if he would be interested.

"It will be very similar, it's just going to be bigger," said Brown.

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