Superintendent looks to former district for two hiresThe Farmington School Board voted unanimously Monday to approve contracts for Carl Colmark as finance director and MaryAnn Thomas as human resources director. Both worked with new superintendent Jay Haugen in the West St. Paul-Mendota Heights-Eagan School District he left to come to Farmington.
By: Nathan Hansen, The Farmington Independent
Farmington’s new superintendent chose two familiar faces for his first hires in his new school district.
The Farmington School Board voted unanimously Monday to approve contracts for Carl Colmark as finance director and MaryAnn Thomas as human resources director. Both worked with new superintendent Jay Haugen in the West St. Paul-Mendota Heights-Eagan School District he left to come to Farmington.
Haugen had said he was reluctant to raid his former district to fill the two big vacancies in his new cabinet. But both Thomas and Colmark said they were eager to follow their former boss.
“This place now has a tremendous superintendent,” said Colmark, who spent nine years in West St. Paul. “I like to follow success. I know (Haugen) is going to do terrific things for this district.”
Farmington School Board members knew even before they started interviewing for their superintendent position that they would have vacancies at the top of the human resources and finance departments. Board members believed having the opportunity to fill those positions would be appealing to candidates.
Both Colmark and Thomas said they talked with Haugen about following him even before he was hired in Farmington. Colmark’s decision to come to Farmington was based primarily on Haugen’s presence here, but Thomas was a little bit more familiar with the district. She grew up in Inver Grove Heights. She remembers coming to a much more rural Farmington for sporting events when she was in high school.
“It feels a little bit like coming home,” said Thomas, who was in West St. Paul for eight years.
Both Thomas and Colmark started doing research on the Farmington district as the hiring process progressed, and both said they have heard good things about the district. Colmark said he likes the district’s size and its stable enrollment.
“Everything we looked at in the school district looked very positive,” he said.
In his introduction Monday Haugen gave Thomas and Colmark a lot of credit for his successes in his former district.
“They were a large part of a lot of the outstanding work we did,” he said. “They’re people with great minds, great hearts.”
Colmark’s contract will pay him a base salary of $140,400 in the first year. Thomas’ deal has a base salary of $129,603. Both will be prorated because Colmark and Thomas will not start in Farmington until Aug. 29. Both contracts run through June 30, 2014.