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South Tama interviews three superintendent finalists

April 11, 2018
By John Speer - Editor ( , Toledo Chronicle, Tama News-Herald

A new superintendent may be named for the South Tama School District. See the April 13 issue of The Tama News-Herald and the website if a decision is reached.)

Three applicants from a pool of 12 have been selected and were scheduled to be interviewed on Tuesday, April 10, to fill the South Tama School's superintendent position on July 1.

They include John Chalstrom, Jared Smith and Tim Salmon.

Article Photos

South Tama School Board (l-r seated) Jackie Dvorak and Ronald Houghton. (l-r standing) Alan Kline, Board President Penny Tyynismaa and Mandy Lekin.
Chronicle file photo

A special closed session of the South Tama School Board was set for Tuesday, April 10, at 3 p.m. at the Reinig-Toledo Civic Center for the interviews and a discussion on hiring.

Following the discussion the Tuesday agenda calls for approval of hiring a new superintendent. That action is set for open session.

The board earlier set an April 11 date for having the hiring process completed.

Fact Box



Superintendents of South Tama Schools beginning at high school consolidation in 1964:

Ben Jones

Robert Leland

Jerry Nichols

Joel Wedergren

Jim Dodd

James Austin

Clarence Lippert

Larry Molacek

Kerri Nazarenus-


Mary Jones

Current- Jeff Berger

Interim Superintendent Jeff Berger withdrew from consideration from the post in January.

Berger is paid $140,000 annually.

The resumes of the finalists included in the announcement issued by Mary Boege, South Tama business manager are:

Dr. John Chalstrom-Dr. Chalstrom has been a superintendent at Cherokee Community Schools, was the CFO for Sioux City Community Schools, and currently is a project coordinator for Allen Gray Associates, Boston, MA. Dr. Chalstrom has strong financial skills and has been an active member of his community through Rotary and church. He was also a lobbyist for Sioux City Schools and Iowa Association of School Boards and IFRS. He has proven leadership experience and is able to work with all stakeholders to promote the school district.

Dr. Jared Smith-Dr. Smith is the current principal at Muscatine. He has experience in Waterloo and Fort Dodge as an assistant principal for those high schools. Dr. Smith is known as a "culture builder" and a collaborative leader. He has been involved in several bond issues in the districts that he has served. Jared has proven leadership in improving student achievement with a focus on improving programs and addressing equity issues.

Mr. Tim Salmon-Mr. Salmon is currently serving as the K-6 principal and superintendent for United Community School District in Boone. His prior experience was serving as an elementary principal for Johnston Schools. He is people-oriented leader who is collaborative with all district stakeholders. Mr. Salmon has led his district's professional development regarding John Hattie's work on Student Feedback and has had impressive results.

The formal interviews will include "various community stakeholders" in the process. They will offer views to the STC School Board on the qualifications of the applicants. The stakeholders are not identified in the announcement.

Results of a survey conducted by the superintendent search firm, Grundmeyer Leader Search Firm LLC, Ankeny, included responses from students, teachers, support staff, parents, community members, administrators, and alumni resulted in a list of qualifications identified as:

Builds school and community relations

Visible in the school and community

Strong instructional leadership

Effectively manages district resources

Approachable and open-minded

Follows through on tasks/ responsibilities

The announcement said the 12 applicants included two candidates from outside the state of Iowa, six candidates had superintendent experience and six candidates had an Ed.D. or Ph.D. degree.



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