by Mike Knaak
The Sartell-St. Stephen school board picked Jeffery Ridlehoover, currently the assistant superintendent for Mounds View schools, to be the district’s next superintendent. Ridlehoover’s appointment is contingent on negotiating a contract with the district, which the school board hopes to wrap up before the next meeting on Monday, March 15.
Ridlehoover “has done a strategic plan that looks like what we want, has done equity work and put that plan into place,” board member Matt Moehrle said. “He has seen the work we need to do over the next few years. He could navigate us through what we are going to face.”
The March 11 decision came after three days of interviews with finalists selected from an original field of 18 applicants. The other two finalists were Kay Nelson, currently the Sartell-St. Stephen assistant superintendent, and Greg Johnson, a former Sartell-St. Stephen principal who has been the Albany superintendent since 2014.
Reached by telephone after the board vote, Ridlehoover said he was “super excited” about the job.
If a contract is settled, Ridlehoover will replace Jeff Schwiebert, who announced in December that he plans to retire on June 30 after serving the district for seven years.
Ridlehoover has been assistant superintendent in the Mounds View school district, which serves more than 11,000 students, since 2017.
Ridlehoover earned a Doctor of Education degree from Hamline University. He earned his Master of Arts degree in education from the University of St. Thomas and a Bachelor of Science degree in chemistry from the University of Minnesota. In addition to serving as assistant superintendent, Ridlehoover is also an adjunct professor at Hamline University. He has held principal positions in Mounds View, Wayzata and Anoka-Hennepin school districts. Earlier he taught chemistry at Champlin Park High School. He started his career as a science teacher in Lakeville.