Benton School Board names three finalists for next district superintendent

Dr. Pamela Ewell, superintendent for the Benton Community School District, announced her retirement last October. She will retire at the end of the 2022-2023 school year. The school board secured Grundmeyer search firm to assist with Dr. Ewell’s replacement. The school board is announcing the following press release:

January 24, 2023

VAN HORNE, IA — The Benton Community School District School Board screened six semifinalists for the district’s next superintendent in closed session on Thursday, January 19. Following the session, the board named three finalists: Dr. James Bieschke, Matt Kingsbury, and Anthony Ryan.

Dr. Bieschke is the current associate superintendent and school business official at the Benton Community School District, where he is responsible for overall operations by working collaboratively with district directors of business services, transportation, technology, food service, and buildings and grounds. He also works directly with administrators in the academic and physical operations of each attendance center.  He is also a member of the American Association of School Superintendents and was a finalist for the Iowa Secondary Principal of the Year in 2018. Previously, Dr. Bieschke served as high school principal at Benton Community High School.

Kingsbury currently serves as the high school principal in the Vinton-Shellsburg CSD.  In this position he leads a 9-12 building with 460 students and 60 staff members.  He oversees the high school budget, monitors committees, manages staff recruitment & evaluations, and is responsible for the alternative school program.  Kingsbury is a member of the Vinton Lions Club, serves on the Grant Wood Induction Steering Committee, and was a 2015 SAI Principal of the Year finalist.  He previously served as a high school principal at Durant CSD and Columbus Junction CSD.

As the PK-12 superintendent and director of special education of East Marshall CSD since 2016, Ryan has focused on establishing positive relationships, providing opportunities for enhancing professional skills, and embracing effective communication. In addition, Ryan has served in the American Association of School Administrators and Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development. Ryan previously was the PK-12 superintendent at Centerville CSD.

Board members have been working with Grundmeyer Leader Services to conduct the search. As a next step, the board and stakeholder interview teams will conduct final interviews with each of the three finalists on Tuesday, January 31. The board will then discuss the candidates and reach a final decision soon after the formal interviews.

The next superintendent will begin serving the Benton Community School District effective July 1, 2023.

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