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Gelbrich is not Montana's top choice

Superintendent's current contract ties him to JSD helm through June 2016

Posted: January 16, 2014 - 1:11am
Juneau School District Superintendent Glenn Gelbrich.  Michael Penn | Juneau Empire
Michael Penn | Juneau Empire
Juneau School District Superintendent Glenn Gelbrich.

Juneau School District Superintendent Glenn Gelbrich is not the Kalispell Public Schools board’s first choice after interviews for their superintendent position concluded Tuesday, according to their school officials.

While a contract has not been finalized, there is a “95 percent” chance the board will opt for Mark Flatau, a superintendent of a small Washington school district.

“Unless there is a problem with the site visit, then he will be our hire,” Dave Schultz, a board member for the Kalispell Public Schools, said of Flatau.

Nevertheless, Gelbrich is out of the running, he added.

The board is expected to formally announce their final choice later this month. Gelbrich was one of five finalists for the position who interviewed in Kalispell on Monday and Tuesday.

Gelbrich told the Empire previously that if he was not accepted for the Kalispell position, then he would stay in Juneau.

The Juneau School Board president on Wednesday expressed support for Gelbrich.

“If Glenn wasn’t selected, they must have had a heck of a caliber of candidates to chose from,” Sally Saddler said.

Gelbrich’s contract keeps him at the helm of the capital city’s schools through June 2016.

“I’m sorry for him if that was a position he really wanted, but I’m happy for us in that he will continue his fine work in the community of Juneau,” Saddler added.

According to the district’s approved 2014 budget, Gelbrich’s salary and benefits package in Juneau is worth just over $200,000.

He is expected to be back at work in Juneau by Thursday — in time for a collective bargaining session with the Juneau Education Association.

The school board met in executive session for more than two hours Tuesday night discussing a Jan. 8 offer from the teachers’ union.

That offer is a two-year deal that includes the teachers sharing a portion of the increase in health care costs with the district and smaller-than-previously-proposed pay raises for both years of the deal. The two sides have been negotiating a new contract for about one year now.

Gelbrich was unable to be reached for comment on this article.

• Contact reporter Matt Woolbright at 523-2243 or at matthew.woolbright@juneauempire.com. Follow him on Twitter at https://twitter.com/reportermatt.

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