Monson a finalist for superintendent job at Harrisburg, S.D. School District

MARSHALL — Current Marshall Public School Superintendent Scott Monson is one of three finalists for the superintendent position in the Harrisburg (South Dakota) School District.

Monson said he wasn’t necessarily looking for opportunities elsewhere, but tossed his hat into the ring because Harrisburg had been a district he “was intrigued by” since he started his teaching career in Dell Rapids, South Dakota.

“I continued to watch the growth happen there and thought of it as a place I would like to learn more about and perhaps work in, if the opportunity ever came up,” Monson said. “I was made aware of that opportunity and applied.”

Harrisburg is the fastest-growing district in the state.

“There are now 4,700 students in the district, and I believe it is either close to being or has now become the third-largest school district in South Dakota,” Monson said. “Many of the pieces of their strategic plan align very well with my professional philosophies, which is important to me.”

Monson has been employed at MPS since 2014. Prior to coming to Marshall, he was the superintendent for the Morris Area School District for 10 years and was the high school principal at the Benson School District for four years before that.

“I am happy at MPS and in Marshall,” he said. “We have so many great things happening in the district — and yet we have important work to do as well — and in the community. We have premier students, families, staff and a wonderful community with a great deal to offer anyone. The school board has treated me exceptionally well here. I am proud of MPS and Marshall.”

Monson and the other two finalists — Brian Field, of Beresford, South Dakota, and Summer Schultz, of Dell Rapids, South Dakota — were chosen from a field of 33 candidates vying to replace Superintendent Jim Holbeck, who announced his plans to retire earlier this year, according to the Argus Leader. Holbeck has served the Harrisburg District for 12 years.

“I am humbled to be selected as a finalist, as I know there were 33 applicants from several states, so the competition has been tough,” Monson said. “No matter what happens next week, I feel fortunate and blessed to be in the situation I am — working in a district I am glad to be a small part of and getting an opportunity to learn more about a district that’s I’ve been interested in for nearly 30 years.”

While he continues his commitment to Marshall and MPS, Monson said he’s looking forward to learning more about the Harrisburg School District and community. The Harrisburg School Board is expected to interview the three finalists on Feb. 25-27 and meet on Feb. 28 to identify its top choice, he said.

“I anticipate they may extend an offer to that person on February 28, after their school board meeting,” Monson said. “Regardless of what happens next week, I will continue to work as hard and diligently as possible for our students, families, staff and community members through June. MPS is in good hands because of our staff, families and school board — not because of me.”