Tuesday, June 15, 2021
63.0°F

Bigfork superintendent in the running for Kalispell schools position

by HILARY MATHESON & MACKENZIE REISS
Daily Inter Lake | May 12, 2021 2:30 AM

Bigfork Superintendent Matt Jensen is among the three candidates vying for a full-time assistant superintendent of schools position with Kalispell school district. Bigfork Board Chair Paul Sandry confirmed that the board voted to extend Jensen's contract with the school during their April meeting and was not actively searching for another superintendent as of Tuesday, May 11.

"He got what I would generally call a very good evaluation and he has indicated his desire to seek the opportunity up here with the Kalispell Schools," Sandry said.

Jensen was unavailable for comment before press time.

Jensen and the two other candidates John Farley of Washington and Teresa Rensch of California will be at a meet-and-greet event from 4:30 to 5:30 p.m. this Thursday in the Kalispell Middle School library. Interviews will take place on Friday.

Jensen is the superintendent of Bigfork School District and has a master’s degree in education administration from the University of Phoenix. He obtained his superintendent endorsement from the University of Montana. Jensen has 17 years of experience working in education and previously worked as a high school social studies teacher; a basketball, tennis, and track coach; assistant high school principal and activities director; and elementary, middle and high school principal.

Farley is currently an elementary principal in Moses Lake, Washington. He holds a master’s degree in education administration from Grand Canyon University and is completing his superintendent endorsement at the University of Montana. Farley has 23 years of experience working in education and has held previous positions as an elementary teacher, assessment coordinator, Title and federal programs coordinator, elementary principal, assistant middle school principal and assistant high school principal. In addition to working in Moses Lake he has also worked in Puyallup and Kent, all located in Washington, and Shepherd, Montana.

Rensch is the director of educational services in Konocti Unified School District located in Lower Lake, California. She holds a master’s degree in education leadership from the University of Chicago and a doctorate in education leadership and management from Capella University. Rensch has 27 years of experience in education and has held positions as a middle school language arts, math, and social science teacher and department chair and as a middle school principal. She has taught in Chicago and served as an administrator in Tahoe and Konocti Unified School Districts in California.

The person selected for the position will support the superintendent by working with school staff “to build vision, set priorities, and develop long and short-range plans for the day-to-day operation of the school district,” in regard to programs, policy and procedure, special projects and supervising building principals.

The position was advertised with a salary range of $118,456 to $129,481. The salary will be paid for out of existing funds currently available with the least impact to the general fund, according to district officials.

Currently, the district has one full-time assistant superintendent position held by Callie Langohr. Kalispell Superintendent Micah Hill presented the recommendation to add an assistant superintendent position during an April board meeting, citing a growing district that has “reached an operational capacity for the central office administration,” limiting the “capacity to take on new, innovative, and functional responsibilities.”

Kalispell Public Schools include six elementary schools, a middle school, two high schools, an alternative high school and an agricultural education center. The district has a total enrollment of nearly 6,000 students and employs approximately 750 people.

A recommendation is expected to go before the board for approval on May 25.

Reporter Hilary Matheson may be reached at 758-4431 or by email at hmatheson@dailyinterlake.com.