Superintendent Saga 9-16-22 

Parkers Prairie ISD 547

Superintendent Saga

September 16, 2022 

Month + a day – Day 32 in District

7 Habits

Habit 5 of 7 Habits of Highly Effective People is “Seek to Understand, Then to Be Understood”. Habit 5 is based on the principles of respect, mutual understanding, empathy, and courage. I have spent a lot of time this week trying to practice empathic listening. In order to be able to help the District move forward I need to learn where we are. I was able to touch base with all seven new teachers at the high school. 


On Monday I was visited by Minnesota Rural Education Association (MREA) Executive Director Bob Indihar. I joined a virtual MREA membership meeting on Tuesday.

I networked with my Superintendent colleagues at the Lake Country Service Cooperative (LCSC) on Wednesday.  The first two hours I spent with four brand new superintendents and Jeff Olson and Terry Quist of True North Consulting as part of the 2022-23 New Superintendent Cohort.  It is great to be energized by people new to the role of superintendent. I also renewed acquaintance with some more veteran superintendents. Jeremy Kovash updated us on services provided by LCSC and Kirk Schneidawind provided an update for the Minnesota School Board Association (MSBA).

The afternoon session was a review of our levy sheets with Kathy Erickson, MDE Director of Finance. 

Strategic Planning

Bruce Miles, Big River Consulting LLC and Jeff Olson, True North Consulting are working with me to provide options for the District to develop a strategic plan. I also talked with Gail Gilman from MSBA about their planning services but she would not be able to work with us until May of 2023.

I met with Chad Peterson or Hillyard consultant and he will proceed with using their Cleaning Cost Analysis Program (CCAP). As I mentioned last week the system establishes a baseline cleaning program and then optimizes it to deliver better cleaning results within budget. 


Principals Radtke, Johnson, and I met again Thursday to review current concerns and future planning. We will be meeting weekly to keep each other updated.


Congratulations to the football team on their win against Roseau! The long ride home is much more enjoyable after a win! The same applies to the volleyball team with their win over Wheaton-Hermaan-Norcross. Congratulations!

Peter E. Haapala, Interim Superintendent

“If we create a culture where every teacher (employee) believes they need to improve, not because they are not good enough but because they can be even better, there is no limit to what we can achieve.” —Dylan Wiliam