School district interviews superintendent candidates, will announce finalists March 18

By Zach Hagadone
Reader Staff

Lake Pend Oreille School District trustees are narrowing in on a replacement for outgoing Superintendent Tom Albertson, who is retiring in July. 

Watched by district staff and community members on the Superintendent Search Interview Observer Panel, trustees performed the first round of preliminary interviews with candidates for the position March 16, which included David Dude, Dennis Wilson and Casey McLaughlin.

The LPOSD building in Ponderay.
Photo by Ben Olson.

The second round of preliminary interviews will take place Thursday, March 17 at 4:15 p.m. in the library at Sandpoint High School (410 S. Division St.). The meeting is open to the public but will not feature a question-and-answer session between the audience and candidates.

Dude currently serves as CEO and founder of Cary, Ill.-based consulting firm Compass Tree LLC, though previously helmed a district of 6,000 students as superintendent, worked as chief operations officer for a district of 13,000 students and as chief technology officer in a district of 17,000 students. Dude holds a Ph.D. in Educational Leadership and two Master of Arts degrees in Education Measurement and Education Administration from the University of Iowa.

Wilson hails from Mountain Home, Idaho, where he serves as the current superintendent and principal of Richard McKenna Charter School, with a population of 1,060 students. Wilson has 18 years of prior experience as a school superintendent, as well as experience as a principal and teacher. He holds an Education Leadership for Superintendent credential from Central Michigan University and a Master of Arts in Educational Leadership from Central Michigan University.

McLaughlin, of Sandpoint, currently serves LPOSD as director of Federal Programs and assistant director of Teaching and Learning. He has experience as a middle school and elementary school principal, most recently at Sandpoint Middle School. McLaughlin received an Education Specialist degree for Superintendent from the University of Idaho and a Master of Education in Education Leadership from the University of Idaho.

Candidates to be interviewed March 17 include Kelly Kronbauer, Becky Meyer and Teresa Rensch.

Kronbauer is currently director of Student Services and Operations in the Ellensburg School District in Ellensburg, Wash. He also has experience as a director of state and federal programs, K-12 building principal experience and teaching experience. Kronbauer completed the superintendent certification program through Washington State University and holds a Master of Arts degree in Education Leadership and Administration.

Meyer, of Rathdrum, is the current superintendent for the Lakeland School District, with a population of 4,200 students. She also has experience as an assistant superintendent for LPOSD, an elementary school principal, as well as a principal and assistant principal at Sandpoint and Lake Pend Oreille high schools, respectively. Meyer holds a Ph.D. from the University of Idaho and a Master of Education degree from City University.

Rensch is currently the director of Curriculum and Instruction for Konocti Unified School District in Lower Lake, Calif. Rensch also has experience as a high school and middle school principal and teaching experience. She holds a Doctor of Education in Management and Leadership from Capella University and a Master of Arts in Education Administration from Chicago State University.

District officials said the top three finalists will be announced on Friday, March 18, following confirmation. The final interviews will take place with one candidate each day Tuesday, March 22-Thursday, March 24, as well as facilitated community forums each day from 5-6 p.m. at the Ponderay Events Center (401 Bonner Mall Way), where members of the public can meet and greet each of the top three candidates.

Trustees will meet again on Friday, March 25 for an executive session to select their finalist from the top three.

For more information, including the agenda for the finalist interviews, visit

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