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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. To his right is current Board President Karl Lembke and, on his left, former board member Scott Halvorson.

An interim Bismarck Public Schools superintendent could be selected as soon as Monday.

The Bismarck School Board met Thursday night to discuss options for hiring an interim superintendent, who would serve during the 2018-19 school year while a search is underway for a permanent superintendent. Current BPS Superintendent Tamara Useleman announced her resignation last month.

The board has agreed to select an interim due to the short time frame for finding Uselman's replacement.

Karl Lembke, Bismarck School Board president, said board members on Thursday discussed conducting a search process for an interim superintendent, but he said that process is lengthy.

Instead, Lembke said the board could simply name an interim superintendent. He pointed to how, in 2010, school board members selected former Assistant Superintendent John Salwei to replace outgoing Superintendent Paul Johnson.

"We’re looking at that option now," Lembke said.

School board members on Thursday discussed a possible candidate for the temporary position: Mike Heilman, former BPS assistant superintendent of secondary schools.

Heilman, who also was previously the principal at Century High School, replaced Salwei as assistant superintendent of secondary schools in 2010 after Salwei was chosen for interim superintendent.

The school board will decide Monday whether to go through a search process for an interim or name an interim, Lembke said. It is possible the board would proceed with contract negotiations on Monday, if the board chooses to do so.

Lembke said a short-term superintendent would allow board members to have more time to concentrate on filling a permanent position.

"It’s important to us, as a board, and it’s the responsibility of the board to go through a very thorough process to pick the long-term superintendent, and we believe, if we hire an interim for one year, that gives us the time to properly do that," he said.

(Reach Blair Emerson at 701-250-8251 or


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