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Havre man is finalist for Hamilton superintendent

Hamilton's school system could soon choose to hire Havre's assistant superintendent for its head position.

Tom Korst is one of the school board's final four candidates in the search for a new Hamilton superintendent to replace retiring Duby Santee, the Ravalli Republic reported this morning.

Korst, with other candidates from St. Ignatius, Stevensville and C'oeur D'Alene, Idaho, will be interviewed late next week, including a public meeting on Friday, Jan. 20, at 5 p. m.

Korst was hired as assistant superintendent of Havre Public Schools, a position that hadn't existed for a few years, a year-and-a-half ago to help then-new Superintendent Andy Carlson get the district on track after Carlson's predecessor, David Mahon, made a controversial departure.

In that time, Korst has already spearheaded a number of efforts, including an overhaul of the districts' math curriculum that is being tried in the classroom for the first time this year.

He said Wednesday that he is also proud of his work in developing technology and community education programs. He is also confident that staff would be able to carry on with these goals if he does get the Hamilton job.

"The district is going in a lot of great directions, " Korst said. "I'd like to think the sign of good leadership is about what continues after you leave.

"It's my goal to make sure that does continue. "

Korst came to Havre from principal positions in Seeley Lake. Now he feels ready for the next step, from assistant to full superintendent.

"I understand it's a very challenging prospect, " Korst said. "I think being in Havre has prepared me for that in many ways. "

Carlson said they are talking about how to handle the situation, whatever happens.

"I wish Tom the best, for he and his family, " Carlson said. "I know the type of person Tom is, and that's not a surprise that he's a finalist for Hamilton.

"I'll be happy either way. "

Korst would finish out the school year here, then move to Hamilton by July 1.

The current Hamilton Superintendent's salary is $89,615, but the district's Payroll Clerk Pat Hill said the board was looking at a salary between $90,000 and $100,000 for the incoming position. Korst's salary in Havre is $84,000.

 

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