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6 to interview for Brainerd superintendent

The candidates will interview in front of the School Board Tuesday and Wednesday, April 5 and 6.

Winter shot of the Washington Educational Services Building
Washington Educational Services Building Jan. 19, 2022.
Theresa Bourke / Brainerd Dispatch
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BRAINERD — Six candidates will interview for superintendent of Brainerd Public Schools Tuesday and Wednesday, April 5 and 6.

The Brainerd School Board approved the six applicants during a special meeting Monday, April 4, as recommended by consultants from School Exec Connect.

Karsten Anderson, Jharrett Bryantt, Heidi Hahn, Frank Herman, Eric Schneider and Ronald Wagner are the top six from a slate of 17 who applied for the job.

Of the applicants, 14 were men and three were women. Thirteen were from Minnesota, while two were from Texas and one each from Illinois and Iowa. Seven were currently superintendents, while three were assistant superintendents, two were principals, one an executive officer, one an executive director, one a CEO and one a tire and battery technician with previous superintendent experience.

The six candidates are listed in alphabetical order.

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Karsten Anderson

Anderson is the superintendent of Red Wing Public Schools, a position he has held since 2011.

Red Wing has an enrollment of about 2,500 students.

He was formerly superintendent at Watertown-Mayer Schools and at Clinton-Graceville-Beardley. He also served as a high school principal at St. Clair Public Schools and as a math and computer science teacher at Red Lake Falls Public Schools.

Anderson has a bachelor’s degree in math and computer science from Concordia College-Moorhead, a Master of Science degree in educational leadership from Bemidji State University and superintendent certification from Moorhead State University.

Anderson was one of two finalists for superintendent of Faribault Public Schools earlier this year.

Jharrett Bryantt

Bryantt is the assistant superintendent and an executive officer of Houston Public Schools, where he has served since 2013.

Houston is the seventh-largest school district in the country, with an estimated enrollment of about 194,000.

He was previously a geometry teacher at YES Prep Public Schools in Houston from 2011-13.

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Bryantt has a bachelor’s degree in psychology from Yale University and a master’s of education in education policy and leadership and a doctorate of education in education policy and leadership, both from University of Texas-Austin.

Bryantt is currently one of three finalists for superintendent of the Oregon City School District in Oregon.

Heidi Hahn

Hahn is the assistant superintendent at Brainerd Public Schools, a position she has held since 2018.

Hahn previously served as director of special education and as assistant director of special education at the Paul Bunyan Education Cooperative in Brainerd, a special education teacher at Brainerd Public Schools and a school mental health professional at Northern Pines Mental Health Center.

Hahn has a bachelor’s degree in child development and family science and a master’s in education, health and human development from Montana State University, administrative licensure from St. Mary’s University and a doctorate of education in education administration and leadership from St. Cloud State University.

Frank Herman

Herman has been a high school principal at Robbinsdale Area Schools since 2015 and previously served as assistant high school principal.Robbinsdale has an enrollment of about 12,000 students.

He was previously a principal, an alternative learning center director and high school dean of students at Spring Lake Park Schools, middle school dean of students at St. Louis Park Schools and a part-time learning center teacher at Cambridge Area Schools.

Herman has a bachelor’s in social studies education from Bemidji State University, a master’s in education from Hamline University, an education specialist degree in education leadership and superintendent certification from Minnesota State University-Mankato and a doctorate of education in education administration and leadership from St. Cloud State University.

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Herman was one of three finalists for superintendent of the Pequot Lakes School District last year.

Eric Schneider

Schneider is the chief academic officer for EdIncites, a Chicago company that seeks to provide tools, resources and staff to improve educational outcomes.

He has been in that role since 2020. Schneider’s resume includes positions as chief officer of partner strategies at the Education Research and Development Institute, president/co-founder of InnovateK12, associate superintendent at Minnetonka Public Schools, director of curriculum and instruction at Osseo Area Schools, high school principal at Napa Valley Unified School District, assistant principal at Minneapolis Washburn High School, and high school coordinator and high school English teacher and Minneapolis Public Schools.

Schneider has a bachelor’s degree in English and a master’s in English education from University of Minnesota, superintendent certification from St. Mary’s University and is expected to earn a doctorate of education from Concordia University-Chicago this year.

Schneider is currently one of seven finalists for superintendent of Stillwater Public Schools.

Ronald Wagner

Wagner is the associate superintendent of Minneapolis Public Schools, a position he has held since 2014.

He previously served as a kindergarten through eighth grade principal, middle school assistant principal and middle school math teacher in Minneapolis, which has an enrollment of about 31,000 students.

He also served as a middle school social studies teacher at South Dearborn Schools in Aurora, Indiana, and an elementary teacher at Jac-Cen-Del Schools ini Osgod, Indiana.

Wagner has a bachelor’s degree in elementary education from Ball State University, a master’s in education from Indiana Wesleyan University and an education specialist degree in education leadership from the University of St. Thomas.

Wagner was a semifinalist for superintendent of Faribault Public Schools earlier this year, a semifinalist for superintendent of Harrison School District Two in Colorado Springs, Colorado, in 2019 and is currently one of three finalists for superintendent of the Oregon City School District in Oregon.

Interview schedule

The interview schedule is as follows, with one hour dedicated to each interview.

  • 4 p.m. Tuesday: Karsten Anderson.
  • 5:15 p.m. Tuesday: Eric Schneider.
  • 6:30 p.m. Tuesday: Jharrett Bryantt.
  • 4 p.m. Wednesday: Ron Wagner.
  • 5:15 p.m. Wednesday: Frank Herman.
  • 6:30 p.m.: Wednesday: Heidi Hahn.

Interviews will take place in the boardroom at the Washington Educational Services Building and are open to the public.
THERESA BOURKE may be reached at theresa.bourke@brainerddispatch.com or 218-855-5860. Follow her on Twitter at www.twitter.com/DispatchTheresa .

Theresa Bourke started working at the Dispatch in July 2018, covering Brainerd city government and area education, including Brainerd Public Schools and Central Lakes College.
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