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Bismarck School Board member and then-president Matt Sagsveen gestures while opening a board meeting at the Tom Baker Meeting Room in the City/County Office Building in June 2017. 

Bismarck Public Schools has started taking applications for its next superintendent.

The Bismarck School Board hired the consulting firm Olson Effertz to lead the superintendent search. On Tuesday, the firm began advertising for the position on various websites, including LinkedIn and social media.

The application window will remain open until Dec. 7. After that, semi-finalists will be identified and, in early January, finalists will be selected and interviewed. A superintendent is expected to be chosen in late January and start July 1.

The school board agreed to post the superintendent salary range at $190,000 to $240,000. Former superintendent Tamara Uselman's initial salary was $190,000. Uselman received yearly pay raises, and her salary when she resigned this year was $213,854.

Candidates must have a North Dakota superintendent credential, as defined by the state Education Standards and Practices Board. The board prefers candidates with a doctorate in educational leadership or a related field and superintendent experience.

On Monday night, board members reviewed the results of a public survey seeking input on the next superintendent. According to the results, the top three preferred qualities, in order, include:

  • Has high standards of morals, ethics, integrity, honesty and personal conduct.
  • Is good at building trust and developing positive relationships with students, parents, staff and community members.
  • Will place a high priority on developing good staff morale and will create a positive working environment for all staff.

Board President Matt Sagsveen said he was pleased with the number of respondents to the leadership profile survey. In total, 1,436 people responded to the survey, which closed last week.

"(There was) a lot of variation in the answers, but I think if you look at the top five answers, I think it’s what I would have expected," Sagsveen said. "Hopefully, we can find a candidate that fits that mold."

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(Reach Blair Emerson at 701-250-8251 or


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