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EGF School Board approves contract for new superintendent

The East Grand Forks School Board approved Monday the three-year contract for the district's new superintendent.

Mike Kolness, who currently leads Ada-Borup (Minn.) Public Schools, will receive $142,000 next school year, $144,000 in 2017-18 and $146,000 in 2018-19.

The board didn't have much discussion on the matter, voting 5-0 with member Sue Black absent.

Chairman Tony Palmiscno said the negotiation was quick and smooth. The three-member negotiation committee based Kolness' contract on examples from the Minnesota Superintendents Association and the Minnesota School Boards Association, he said.

"We feel we have a quality superintendent, and we're pleased with that," Palmiscno said. "He's excited to come to the district."

He said the contract was tweaked a little to add a clause related to health care because of upcoming changes to the law.

The school district's superintendent contract requires 12 months of work each year and availability during any emergency.

Benefits include 15 days of sick leave per year, a moving allowance of up to $8,000 in expenses, 22 days of annual paid vacation each year and eight paid holidays.

The contract states Kolness' annual salary may be modified, but not reduced during the three years.

The board chose Kolness because of his high expectations for staff and students, longevity in the Ada-Borup district and his communication methods. He told interviewers he stays active on social media and has kept the public informed through a weekly radio spot and writing articles for the local newspaper.

Kolness' first day will be July 1. He replaces Superintendent Dave Pace, whose last day will be June 30.