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APS board hires Byron superintendent

The Austin School Board on Monday finalized and approved by unanimous vote the hiring of Dr. Joey Page as the Austin Public Schools District’s new superintendent.

Page, who has served as the superintendent of the Byron School District since 2017, follows David Krenz, who will be retiring in June.

Page is expected to begin his tenure starting on July 1.

Board Chair Kathy Green noted how well the process went and with working with Page.

“It was a very positive experience working with Dr. Page,” Green said. “We’re very pleased with the outcome.”

Board Member Don Leathers commented, “[We’ve heard] a lot of positive things about Mr. Page.”

Both the board and Page agreed on a three-year contract with a starting salary of $169,000 for the first year.

In conducting the search for its new superintendent, the board was looking for a person who could step in with the vision to continue the district’s success.

“The challenge of the search was finding the right person to step into the superintendent’s position,” Green said. “Someone that can appreciate the Austin School District the way we do, the way David has.”

And the board agreed that Page fits the high standards of the district and how it conducts its education. Green indicated that Page was drawn to the opportunities afforded the district, including the resources provided by working with The Hormel Foundation.

“They are a conduit,” Green said. “The Hormel Foundation is a conduit that allows us to do so many great things.”

Throughout the process, the board has gone through great lengths to ensure the community was a part of the process, using a pair of questionnaires to frame the questions used in the interview process that include a brochure for applicants.

“We asked people, ‘What are you looking for in a superintendent?’” Green said. “We really feel the community brought us great ideas, that we were really able to formulate the application brochure and tell applicants what we were looking for.”

This included inviting 18 people from within Austin to watch the final interviews and give written opinions on the final process as well as the three final applicants, which included APS Executive Director of Finance and Operations Lori Volz.

Volz was one of two people from within the Austin Public School District to apply for the position. Human Resources Director Mark Raymond was one of five semifinalists for the position.

Having two people from within the district is an indication of the strengths of the district’s leaders, Green said.

“David Krenz encourages those around him to rise,” Green said. “David has encouraged people to find their strengths and expand on them. We, as a district, have benefitted from that.”

Though the process was long, Green feels confident the board has made the right decision in hiring Page in meeting the future needs of the district.

“The person that sits in that desk is going to set the tone of how the district moves into the future,” Green said. “We all know the world is spinning faster and changes are happening faster. We need to be resilient to that change. We’re feeling confident in the process we’ve gone through and having Dr. Page has everything moving forward.”