Rhonda Silence

School District 166 school board selects new superintendent

If he accepts an offer in the coming days, Christopher Lindholm will be the next superintendent at ISD 166.
In April 2021, the school board of School District 166 began the process of finding a new superintendent. The process started by seeking stakeholder input through a survey of school staff. Another survey followed to give community members the chance to list their priorities.

With the assistance of the Minnesota School Board Association, the job description was finetuned and advertisements were written. On May 10, the school board reviewed applications and debated how many candidates they should invite for interviews from the eight that the MSBA screening had identified as potential candidates for the position.

At the end of that meeting, the board narrowed the candidate field to four and the first interviews were conducted via Zoom on May 12 and May 13. At that time, the board decided to move ahead with in-person interviews with three candidates: Cecelia Dodge of St. Paul; Lindholm, of Pequot Lakes; and Samuel Zimmerman, of Duluth.

On May 19, in-person interviews took place with Dodge and Lindholm. Zimmerman withdrew his application for personal reasons.

At the end of the interviews, the board held a very lengthy meeting to share impressions from the interviews. The board reviewed questions from school staff and the community. They also reviewed reference checks.

Finally, a unanimous motion passed to offer the superintendent position to Lindholm, superintendent in Pequot Lakes, Minn.

According to the Pequot Lakes Public Schools webpage, Lindholm has been superintendent there since July 2013. Before that he served as assistant superintendent in the Burnsville-Eagan Savage School District; as principal and assistant principal at Shakopee Junior High School; as dean of students at Edina High School; and social studies teacher and girls soccer coach at Northfield High School.

According to his webpage bio, he is a graduate of St. Olaf College and holds degrees and licenses issued by Winona State University, St. Mary’s University, and MN State University Mankato.

The website states that Lindholm enjoys family time, contemporary worship, gardening, home improvement, fishing, hunting, golf, and in his spare time – leading the improvement of education.

His information on the school webpage also lists a number of community organizations in which he has been involved, such as the Central Lakes Rotary Club, Pequot Lakes Economic Development Commission, the nonprofit Happy Dancing Turtle, and more.

After voting to offer the position to Lindholm, the school board spent the remainder of the meeting in a discussion of the employment contract. School Board Member Rena Rogers is the person appointed to work out those details.

If all goes well, Lindholm will start as the new superintendent at School District 166 on July 1.

Principal Megan Myers has been acting superintendent since Superintendent Dr. Bill Crandall left the position due to medical issues.

WTIP’s Rhonda Silence spoke with ISD 166 School Board Chair Dan Shirley as he returned home from the long meeting. Here’s their conversation.