In his first board meeting as Neligh-Oakdale's interim superintendent, Bill Kuester said he anticipates hiring an assistant to help with his duties.
Kuester, who retired from Clearwater-Orchard before serving as interim superintendent at Howells-Dodge, started at Neligh-Oakdale on July 1. He was hired in March as interim superintendent with a one-year salary of $122,000. He replaced Kimberly Lingenfelter, who was paid $115,000 last year and is now serving as superintendent at Cherokee, Iowa.
Kuester told the board his is looking at hiring an assistant for 10-15 hours per week, but he did not say what the person would be paid. Kuester only told board members that policy states he does not need board approval to hire an assistant. Administrative assistants are not generally considered entry-level positions on the pay scale.
In explaining his needs, Kuester complimented his predecessor at Neligh-Oakdale for her abilities but said he does not have the same strengths as Lingenfelter.
“Mrs. Lingenfelter did a super job with technology, and I can’t duplicate that. I can’t try to duplicate that,” Kuester said.
During his interview last February, Kuester told the board, "I have to be honest with you, for the past 19 years I’ve been blessed with a business manager, not a secretary, but a business manager, where she and I both worked on the portal on a daily basis."
Linda Wilkinson currently serves as an administrative assistant to the superintendent. Historically, Neligh-Oakdale has never had more than one assistant to the superintendent.
Kuester told the board, “I’ll keep you posted if we decide to go that route, and that’s what I’m thinking here.”
Kuester said he is "seven days on the job" and enjoying the position so far. He listed four goals for the board and stressed improving communication between board members, saying members need to have the information necessary to make decisions prior to the start of meetings.
His goals were positive leadership, expertise in budget and finances, leadership for facility improvement and positive relationships for trust and communication.