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0656, 11 Feb 20

West Bend School Superintendent Appointed to Job in South Dakota

As expected. From the Washington County Insider.

February 11, 2020 – West Bend, WI – Outgoing West Bend School District Superintendent Don Kirkegaard on Monday night secured an interim superintendent’s position in the Meade School District in his home state of South Dakota.


Kirkegaard is to take over in the Meade School District on July 1, 2020.  Kirkegaard’s last day in West Bend School District will be June 30, 2020.

Kirkegaard was paid $175,000 in the West Bend School District. The district also covered his moving expenses up to $15,000.

Meade School Board is not going to pay moving expenses for Kirkegaard to return home.

According to board officials it has not been determined whether Kirkegaard would be considered for a full-time position as Superintendent in the Meade School District. According to state law in South Dakota, an interim position can only run for one year.


It was February 3, 2020 when broke the story about West Bend School Superintendent Don Kirkegaard looking to return to his former school district and expressing interest in the interim superintendent position in the Meade School District.

“I’m not ready to be done done yet …. the departure truly is a personal decision,” he said.


0656, 11 February 2020


  1. Kevin Scheunemann

    I’d demand refund from that search firm.

  2. Mark Hoefert

    @ Kevin

    I’d demand refund from that search firm.

    This bunch does not work that way. Actually using that firm again to help them vet candidates.  Less money than before because they will be skipping the phases where staff, parent, stakeholder, and community leader input is sought.  According to Board, nothing has changed in two years in communty’s expecation of the role of a Superintendent (other than a failed referendum, declining enrollment, and disengagement from the community).  Which is OK – input is usually solicited from a select group – just becomes a dog-and-pony show.  Ironic how they are patting themselves on the back for saving so much money on recruiting – bad hires have proven to be quite expensive.

    Looks like they are looking internally – in 8 months the Superintendent has supposedly brought in new hires with a lot of depth and there are several strong internal candidates.  

    Here a Board member is being facetious – suggesting that the students in attendance tell their favorite administrator or principal about the job.

    I can be facetious too – the West Bend School District is a $120M enterprise – don’t tell the ones who bungled the $5000 forensics club issue about the job.

  3. Mark Hoefert

    in 8 months the Superintendent

    Meant to say 18 months.

  4. Owen

    I don’t fault the search firm that much. They brought candidates. The school board chose the one they wanted. This is all on the school board for not having the common sense to understand that whatever someone says in the interview, asking a 60-year-old couple to move out of the state in which they spent their entire lives was not going to be a long term deal. The school board chose to overlook that.

  5. Mar

    Didn’t the guy have a contract that had penalties for leaving early? Financial penalties like teachers have?

  6. Mark Hoefert

    @ Mar

    Didn’t the guy have a contract that had penalties for leaving early? Financial penalties like teachers have?

    He is finishing his two-year contract – 7/1/18 through 6/30/20.

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