by Dennis Dalman
The Sartell-St. Stephen School Board will decide at its April 23 meeting whether to appoint a man nominated to replace Julie Zupfer Anderson, who recently resigned from the board. She had cited irreconcilable differences among board members and a lack of common vision regarding board leadership as a reason for her resignation.
At a work session April 10, Mary McCabe, the board’s chair, suggested as a replacement Dr. Gary Schnellert, a Sartell resident and associate professor of educational leadership at the University of North Dakota. McCabe said Schnellert is willing to serve on the board and has a wide-ranging experience in educational matters. There was no opposition to McCabe’s nomination of Schnellert. No other possible replacements were mentioned at the April 10 meeting.
According to the Minnesota School Boards Association, school boards can choose almost any method with which to fill a temporary vacancy on the board. The school board had previously checked with the MSBA to find out if there are restrictions on replacement options.
At the time of her resignation, Zupfer Anderson had served about two years of her four-year term. A replacement would fill in for those remaining two years, and then would have to file for election to the board, if so desired, with any other candidates who choose to file.
Zupfer Anderson’s decision to resign came shortly after Lesa Kramer, citing time constraints, resigned her position as chair of the board, although Kramer decided to remain on the board as treasurer.
Schnellert earned a bachelor’s degree from the University of North Dakota, Grand Forks, a master’s degree from Bemidji (Minn.) State University and a doctorate degree from Iowa State University, Ames. He has served as chair of the Education Department at St. Cloud State University, as well as an SCSU assistant professor. He has also been employed as the superintendent for Northeast Hamilton Community School District in Blairsburg, Iowa and as assistant superintendent at Garden Valley School Division (school district) in Winkler, Manitoba, Canada.
According to his resume, Schnellert’s areas of educational expertise are international and comparative education, public policy and education, educational reform and industrial education.
He has co-written several scholarly works, including “The Risk of Bullying and Violence in the U.S.A.” and “Insights on Class-Size Reduction as an Educational Reform.”