Ron Saari, the former administrator of the Black River Falls School District, has been named the new district administrator for the Potosi School District.
Saari will be given a one-year contract with a salary of $95,000.
School Board President Curt McMahon stated that because of the quality of the three finalist candidates, it was a difficult decision to make, but that in getting to know Saari during the interview process, and seeing his vision for the district has made him and the rest of the board excited about the future.
"All of the candidates said they wanted to get involved in the district, but something about him resonated," McMahon said of community involvement, one of the things the board heard from the public feedback that citizens wanted someone active in the community.
McMahon said the board also grilled Saari "pretty hard" during their first interview with him, and felt that with their research into the issue, they are satisfied with the answers into what took place in Black River Falls, where Saari had resigned after he had been accused filling out an application for a school board candidate, as well as five personal charges for fuel and fast food with the district's credit card (which an investigation by that district showed Saari paid back).
We felt it was a very polarizing situation," McMahon said of Saari's last district. "If we didn't feel comfortable (after the first interview) we would have never brought him back. We felt he was very open and sincere with his answers."
McMahon said that despite that confidence, the board decided to go with a one-year contract to allay any fears residents may have.
McMahon said that they would see about bringing in Saari before the end of the current school year to help speed up the acclimation process. He also said that the board would confer with Saari on how to move forward with the principal postion currently vacant, whether to hire someone for the upcoming school year, or continue with the dean of students posts for the year and then move forward with the principal search. McMahon noted that the district has affirmed its position to fill the principal position.
Pick up this week's Grant County Herald Independent for more on Potosi Schools hiring of its new administrator, and turn back to SWNews4U.com later this week for complete video on Saari's public interaction with the public during interviews earlier this month.