Superintendent Saga 10-07-2022

Parkers Prairie ISD 547

Superintendent Saga

October 7, 2022 

Day 53 in District

“Innovation happens when you run into barriers that force you to find a new route.” John Spencer

7 Habits of Highly Effective People 

Principal Johnson reminded us at her staff meeting that in October the high school staff will be focusing on Habit 2: Begin With the End in Mind. This habit is based on the principles of vision, commitment, and purpose. When I attended the MASA Fall Conference this past Sunday through Tuesday,  I was again struck by the synchronicity of my  coming to the position of Superintendent in Parkers Prairie. The theme of the conference was “Living Your Purpose”. 

Strategic Planning

I am investigating a consulting partnership which would help take the district to a new model of schooling supported by a technology infrastructure.  This model would use modernized workflow to save money and prepare for a future where the teacher shortage gets bigger every year. The point is to not do what some other districts have done, as they went digital, that ended up being chaotic, overwhelming, and a wasteful redundancy.

The model of the district’s schooling would move away from the traditional structure because it is so teacher-centric, so human resource heavy, and not truly meeting the needs of every student. The new model would move to a personalized and flexible structure that maximizes moments of human teaching and interaction.

The Learning Counsel, a national research and media organization, whose “Hybrid Logistic Projectwork accelerated during the pandemic, is helping districts like Parkers Prairie move to more flexible and modern teaching and learning.

 Benefits are expected to be:

  • Allow educators and learners to use time and space differently in a personalized and flexible environment
  • Maximize teacher time with learners, building meaningful relationships that result in higher levels of achievement
  • Amplify student voice and choice through a learner-centered approach to learning design, addressing student engagement, achievement, and attrition
  • Use technology to support teachers, learners, and administrators, minimizing inefficiencies and applying a logistics framework to orchestrate student and teacher movement – much like modern shipping
  • Align worthy work already under way successfully in the district
  • Prepare teachers to better help students by relieving them of the burdens of the old model

A discussion of the direction to go with strategic planning options will take place at the School Board meeting on Thursday, October 13, 2022.


We have formed a Thought Leaders group.  The goal of this group is to align cross-functionally and gain insights into every department. Members are Carey Johnson, Jim Duberowski, Mitch Toso, Steve Radtke, Darcy Peppersack, Derek Denny, Tammy Larson, and myself.


Principal Johnson, Foster Grandparent Gene Moske, and I got to help out in the kitchen on September 29.


Principals Radtke, Johnson, and I are meeting on Thursdays  to review current concerns, future planning, and to keep each other updated.

On Monday Judy Moeller and I attended the Ottertail County Collaborative Leadership Meeting. The Collaborative works  to meet the needs of children and families throughout Ottertail County.

We will be doing ALICE training on Wednesday, October 19, 2022. Early dismissal for elementary students at 12:30 p.m. and high school students at 12:45 p.m. 

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  

PS: I haver seen some beautiful sunsets in Parkers Prairie.