Finalists Announced In Superintendent Search

  • The North Polk Board of Education is pleased to announce the selection of three finalist candidates to interview for the district’s superintendent vacancy. The candidates selected as finalists are:

    • Matthew Blackmore
    • Michael Kline
    • Michelle Lettington

    Interviews are scheduled to be conducted May 11-13, 2021. Several stakeholder groups will have the opportunity to meet the final candidates and submit input to the board. The formal interview process will include a time in which finalists respond to pre-submitted questions from you, members of our school community. This portion of the interview process will be recorded and posted on our district website for viewing and includes an opportunity to provide feedback regarding each finalist. These recordings and feedback opportunities will be posted to our website on the afternoon of Thursday, May 13, 2021 and will be viewable until 9:00pm that evening. As always, your feedback is appreciated!

    Please note, the opportunity to submit questions for the candidates has been extended until 8am on Monday, May 10. Please submit questions here

    The board retained the services of Ray & Associates to assist in conducting the district’s superintendent search. The consultants reviewed, screened, and conducted extensive background checks on all 42 applicants. On April 26, 2021, the consultants presented the top 12 applicants to the Board of Education and provided detailed background information on each applicant. The board extended an invitation to four candidates to participate in initial interviews with the board, three of which (mentioned above) were later named as finalists. 

    The board intends to make their selection by Friday, May 14, 2021.



Candidate Profiles

  • The following profiles were prepared by each candidate and submitted to Ray & Associates to be shared with the North Polk community. Candidates were asked to submit a professional headshot as well as a profile, not to exceed 250 words. Edits have not been made to candidate profiles. 


     

    Matthew Blackmore

    Matthew BlackmoreMatthew J. Blackmore is eager to put his experience in academic leadership and expanding school districts to work for the North Polk Comets.

    Matthew is currently the director of special programs for North Polk schools. His leadership fosters a culture where students learn at the highest levels with the best available resources. Matthew’s commitment to being available, visible and approachable to staff, students and families have made an immediate impact within the district.

    Matthew previously served as principal at Carlisle High School, turning it into one of Iowa’s top schools. During his time in the Carlisle community, the Wildcats were awarded for their achievements.

    Having grown up in the suburbs of Chicago, Matthew worked in the Plainfield Community school district from 2005-2009. He was a special education teacher at his alma mater, Lockport Township and as the Porters varsity football coach, brought home state championships, while also coaching Special Olympics. In 2009, Matthew and his family joined the Ankeny community, where Matthew served as assistant principal for Ankeny High School.

    Matthew played football at Joliet Jr. College and St. Ambrose University. He graduated from Lewis University with a B.A. in special education and a Masters in school administration. Matthew earned his educational specialist certificate from ISU in 2012.  

    Matthew and his wife Megan have three children. When he isn’t working, he is catching a football or basketball game (especially if Michigan is playing), cheering on his kids in their many sports activities, or planning a date night with his wife.

     


     

    Michael Kline

    Michael KlineMichael Kline is currently the Assistant Superintendent of the North Scott Community School District (approximately 3,400 students) located just north of the Quad Cities area. Michael earned both his Bachelor’s and Master’s Degrees from Iowa State University. For his Advanced Certification in Superintendency, he attended the University of Northern Iowa. Throughout his 14 year career in education, Michael has taught middle school math, high school at-risk, and 6th grade, along with coaching a variety of sports. Prior to his position as the Assistant Superintendent, Michael served the North Scott District as the Principal at Virgil Grissom Elementary School in Princeton, IA.

    In all of his roles, Michael has always focused on fostering a love for learning in all students and equipping them with the skills to achieve their goals. As a school leader, he believes deeply in developing a positive learning environment where students feel welcome and cared for every single day. Building relationships with students, families, staff, and community stakeholders is a priority to Michael, and he strives to engage in two-way communication...over a cup of coffee whenever possible.

    Michael and his wife Kristin currently reside in Princeton with their four children: James 9, Benjamin 7, Grace 6, and Isabelle 2. Michael enjoys Casey’s breakfast pizza, coaching his children’s youth soccer teams, going on family bike rides, and playing board/lawn games with friends.

     


     

    Michelle Lettington

    Michelle LettingtonMichelle Lettington currently serves as Associate Superintendent of West Des Moines Community Schools in West Des Moines, Iowa. Lettington previously served as the Director of Elementary Schools for the Des Moines Public Schools. She began her career as a fifth-grade teacher in the Waukee Community School District. She later served as the Dean of Students at James B. Morris Elementary in the Des Moines Public Schools. Lettington has served as Assistant Principal at Northeast Elementary and Westwood Elementary and Principal of Terrace Elementary in the Ankeny Community School District. In addition, she was Principal of Maple Grove Elementary, Principal of South Middle School, and then Executive Director of Curriculum and Professional Learning in the Waukee Community School District.

    Lettington earned her bachelor’s degree in Early Childhood/Elementary Education from the University of Northern Iowa, her master’s degree in Elementary Education and PK-12 Principal and Evaluator License from Viterbo University, and her Superintendent License from Iowa State University.