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Stevensville school hires interim superintendent

By Michael Howell

Dissatisfied with the three applicants vying for the job of superintendent, the Stevensville School Board interviewed a fourth candidate and hired him as an interim replacement on a one year contract. The school board received applications for the position from Dr. Michael Bundy, Leland Stocker and Jim Baldwin to replace outgoing Superintendent Kent Kultgen, who accepted a job as superintendent in the Helena School District.

“They were good candidates, said Kultgen, “but the board felt they were not a good fit for our school.”

School Board President Cathi Cook said that all three of the original applicants came from smaller schools and were not familiar with some of Stevensville School’s important programs such as the Montana Behavioral Institute (MBI) and the Response to Intervention (RTI) program.

The board expressed its concern to Elizabeth Kaleva, who was hired to help in the hiring process and Kaleva recommended that they consider David Whitesell, from Polson, as a possible interim replacement. The board subsequently interviewed Whitesell and offered him a one year contract, which he accepted, according to Cook.

Cook said that Whitesell comes from a Class A school just a little larger than Stevensville and was familiar with the MBI and RTI programs.

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