The Hermantown School Board on Wednesday reviewed first-round interview questions and procedures for its search for a new superintendent.

The application deadline for the superintendent position is 11:59 p.m. Jan. 20. After the application window closes, the board will have time to review all of the applicants before deciding during which six candidates they would like to bring in for the first round of interviews.

Current superintendent Kerry Juntunen is set to retire June 30. The new superintendent would start July 1.

The first round of interviews is scheduled for Jan. 31 starting at 5 p.m. when three candidates will be interviewed, then will continue Feb. 1 at 9 a.m. when the board will interview the remaining three candidates. On Wednesday, the board was presented with a draft schedule of those interviews and a set of 19 possible questions.

The interview schedule, which the board agreed upon, sets the start times for each candidate with the first interview on Jan. 31 starting at 5:15 p.m. Representatives from the Minnesota School Boards Association (MSBA), the consultant hired to facilitate the search, said each interview should take about 55 minutes.

After the third candidate’s interview, the board will adjourn for the night and pick up again at 9 a.m. Feb. 1 where they will interview candidates 4-6. After the last interview, the School Board will deliberate and decide on who to bring back for second interviews scheduled for Feb. 6.

All of the interviews are open to the public.

Each candidate will be asked the same 19 questions by the same people during the interviews. The questions are as open-ended as why they are interested in becoming Hermantown’s next superintendent to as specific as, “Mental health is a growing challenge in our classrooms and schools. What steps would you take to address mental health challenges across the school district?”

The questions were developed by MSBA from the feedback they received from listening sessions with staff and students, the results of the community survey and what the School Board chose as the most important qualities a candidate should possess.

The questions will be finalized at a special meeting Jan. 29 at 5:30 p.m. where the board will also pick which six candidates it would like to bring in for the first round of interviews.