The ISD 318 school board approved a contract with Matt Grose to become the next superintendent of ISD 318. Grose will begin July 1, 2020. Currently he works as the superintendent for Deer River and Nashwauk-Keewatin schools. Grose spoke with the Grand Rapids Herald Review about his experiences and vision for the school district.
Q: Tell me about your background in education as a teacher and superintendent at other schools.
A: I graduated from college with degrees in Mathematics, Secondary Mathematics Education, and Coaching and taught senior high math and computer science for 10 years at Centennial High School in Circle Pines, Minnesota, where I also coached baseball and football.
After getting my Master’s degree in Education, I finished my K-12 Principal Licensure and Superintendent Licensure at the University of Minnesota. In 2004 I was hired as the Deer River High School Principal and in 2006 assumed a dual Principal/Superintendent role there. In 2007 I became the Superintendent in Deer River full time and have been there ever since. In 2016 I assumed the Superintendency in Nashwauk-Keewatin as well.
Q: What about this job appealed to you?
A: Mentors in my life have told me over the years that when it is time to move from your current position, you will just know. Up until recently, I felt I was right where I was supposed to be. Recently, the time began to feel right to look at new opportunities and that is certainly what the Superintendency in ISD #318 represents - an opportunity for me to grow, help another district accomplish its vision, and help people feel the hope, purpose and impact that education brings.
Q: What roles or experience have you had that will help you be successful as the ISD 318 Superintendent?
A: Working as a Superintendent for 14 years has given me the chance to be involved in many aspects of school operations. As important as what might be on the job description has been the opportunity to build relationships with people, create systems, and empower others to help bring about change. I’m looking forward to working with the people I know, those I’ve recently met, and those I’ll meet soon, to move the school district forward.
Q: What are your goals for the first school year under your leadership?
A: With the construction that is underway at three buildings, ensuring a positive opening and a great start to the school year is a priority. Fortunately, district staff and the board have been working hard to keep things on track. Second, I really want to dig into the culture of the district and discover ways that we can strengthen relationships. I am a big believer in the proverb that says “If you want to go fast, go alone; if you want to go far, go together”. Building unity and focus as a district creates amazing potential.
Q: Is there anything about your goals that differentiates you from your predecessors?
A: I’m not aware of what the goals of my predecessors were, but in addition to high student achievement for all students and diverse, relevant, and quality opportunities for children, something I strongly believe in is the importance of trust. I hope to build trust in and among the district.
Q: You’re starting this job during a busy time with new elementary schools opening in the fall, as well as many changes in staff throughout the district. How do you plan to take on these large changes?
A: Successfully navigating changes like these requires good processes and good people. I’ve been impressed with the planning that has gone into the changes that are on the way and am very confident in the people in the school district I’ll be working alongside to execute those plans.
Q: What do you want your legacy to be?
A: I would like to be remembered as someone who left the district as a place where students learn at high levels because they love to come to school; staff are inspired to work selflessly for others; and the community sees their educational system as their greatest asset.
Q: What do you like to do in your free time?
A: I enjoy the outdoors, spending time with my family, and attending the activities my children are involved in.
Q: Is there anything else you would like the community to know?
A: I’m looking forward to engaging with the staff, community, and students in the district!