Next leader: School Board taps Lech as new superintendentAlthough unofficial, the Jamestown Public School Board has tapped the next man to lead the public schools here. Robert Lech (pronounced “Lek”), current superintendent of the Beulah School District, could formally be hired on Feb. 4 at the next School Board meeting. He would start in June.
By: Ben Rodgers, The Jamestown Sun
Although unofficial, the Jamestown Public School Board has tapped the next man to lead the public schools here.
Robert Lech (pronounced “Lek”), current superintendent of the Beulah School District, could formally be hired on Feb. 4 at the next School Board meeting. He would start in June.
The Jamestown Public School Board agreed to offer the job to Lech Wednesday after his interview here. An email was sent to JPS staff announcing the decision on Friday.
“I think education is important whether you’re in a small school with 60 students, or you’re in a large school with many more,” Lech said in a telephone interview Monday. “Education is important and you do what you need to do to make sure that education continues.”
Current Superintendent Bob Toso will retire in June after serving as an administrator with the district for the past 12 years. Lech will replace Toso if Beulah approves his resignation letter, and the JPS Board formally approves the hire at its next meeting.
Lech said Jamestown Public Schools have a reputation of receiving support for the administration, the staff and the community.
“From a professional standpoint Jamestown is very appealing to me,” Lech said. “I think it’s a wonderful district, well known throughout the state for having a dedicated education system and dedicated people.”
Lech is aware of the issues JPS faces now and in the future, including reducing deficit spending and adapting to the Common Core education standards.
“I think any time you have new framework, which is what the Common Core provides, is a new framework, it’s going to be a transition, and the good news is we have some time before the assessments are in place,” Lech said. “The flip side is we have a lot of work to do to make sure our staff is ready, but the standards are a framework, it still comes down to great teaching.”
Although no vote was taken Wednesday, the decision was a unified one, said Greg Allen, School Board member.
“We’re really excited about him, we think he’s going to do a lot of great things with our district,” Allen said, “and one of the key things is this board has to get behind and support him and I think that’s going to be an important part of his success.”
Board members Gail Martin and Roy Musland agreed Lech brings impressive traits to Jamestown, one of which is his technology skills.
“He had his iPad right with him — he’s a techy person,” Musland said of the interview. “What I liked about him: He’s a very calm person, very self-assured, very respectful during the interview, just a very solid, respectable person that has a very nice educational background and history of working with people.”
Martin said the board is excited to start working with Lech in June. Lech will attend some School Board strategic planning meetings before he starts to have a role in that process.
“We’re very excited I think he’s an excellent candidate,” Martin said. “He brings a lot of talents to the district and we’re looking forward to working with him.”
Jamestown Middle School Principal Gail Wold previously worked with Lech for four years in Beulah, where she was middle school principal there.
“I think it will be invigorating to have him at the helm,” Wold said. “He is a visionary, he sees where education is going, he’s intelligent and works hard enough to develop the plans we need to get us there.
“I have complete confidence in his abilities to move the district forward.”
Lech has not signed a contract, so information for pay and benefits was not available.
Sun reporter Ben Rodgers can be reached at 701-952-8455 or by email at email@example.com