Update: New Superintendent Jett on KNSI

Update: New Superintendent Jett on KNSI Click to Enlarge Photo:

Feb 28, 2013 at 11:12 am

ST. CLOUD, Minn. (KNSI) The vote was unanimous, and District 742 has chosen to extend an invitation to Willie Jett to step into the role of the next school superintendent.

Jett joined KNSI's Bob Hughes and News Director Mike Tanner on the Bob Hughes Show.

The board made the decision during Wednesday night's special meeting.

Jett, currently the assistant superintendent for St. Paul Public Schools, was involved in a day-long interview with the board, staff students and the community on Monday.

He was praised for wanting to make positive progress quickly, and for making a solid connection with both staff and the public.

School Board member Jerry Von Korff said he cast his vote for Jett not only on personal qualities, but also because of his excitement in coming to St. Cloud.

"He wowed the people who listened to him - the staff, the students. He gave a unique perspective on St. Cloud," Von Korff says. "He sees St. Cloud as a very welcoming place, and made it very clear that he genuinely wants to come here to help grow our community."

Von Korff says Jett hasn't been a superintendent of a school system yet, neither was his predecessor, Bruce Watkins. Von Korff says he trusts they've made a similarly solid choice.

"We hired a candidate in a similar position, and at the time people wondered if we had made the right decision," Von Korff explains. "We were rewarded with Bruce, and we trust that we will be rewarded again."

Other board members said they chose Jett becase they saw him as experienced with diversity, engaging, and interested in being a visible member of the community.

The board made the call to extend the offer immediately following the end of the meeting. They will now enter into contract negotiations with Jett, who would then fill the position beginning at the end of June.

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