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CCISD board split on superintendent candidates

HANCOCK — The search for a new Copper Country Intermediate School District superintendent will go on a little longer.

The CCISD board adjourned without a final decision following interviews with three candidates Friday: Jim Rautiola, superintendent of Stanton Township Schools; Mike Richardson, director of Regional Educational Media Center No. 1; and Susan Tollefson, superintendent of L’Anse Area Schools.

In a straw vote following the interviews, the board split 3-3 between Rautiola and Richardson, said current CCISD Superintendent George Stockero, who is retiring at the end of the year.

“They discussed both candidates, and at this moment, they can’t make up their minds, so they want to think about it for longer,” he said.

Baraga Area Schools Superintendent Richard Sarau withdrew from consideration because he was too ill to participate Friday, Stockero said.

The seventh CCISD board member was on a long-planned vacation taken annually at this time and was unable to attend, Stockero said. The state disallowed remote participation by board members as of Apr. 1, with a handful of exceptions.

“A month ago, my board member could have participated,” he said. “In the last five years, they always did. We had a board policy that allowed one member to join remotely. Even though that was a board policy, it’s no longer valid.”

The board had planned to hold interviews in February, but had to delay them because of COVID-19, Stockero said.

The issue will be on the agenda at the board’s regular meeting at 5:30 p.m. Apr. 20, although the seventh board member is not expected to be back by then, Stockero said.

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