Columbia Falls Announces Superintendent Finalists

Cory Dziowgo and Andy Maheras will visit with the district next week ahead of a final selection

By Denali Sagner
Buses are parked at Columbia Falls High School on Aug. 26, 2021. Hunter D’Antuono | Flathead Beacon

The Columbia Falls School District on Friday announced two finalists for the position of superintendent, the culmination of a search that began after current Superintendent Dave Wick announced his retirement in January. Cory Dziowgo and Andy Maheras, the two finalists, will visit the school district next week before a selection is made later this month.

Dziowgo is currently the superintendent of the Platte County School District in Wheatland, WY. A press release from the Columbia Falls School District said the following about Dziowgo:

“Mr. Cory Dziowgo (pronounced Jeffco) is excited about the opportunity to continue the good work of the district and lead the Columbia Falls School District towards academic excellence. He has stated that he recognizes the work already begun is outstanding and wishes to be part of advancing the district for the betterment of our students. He is drawn towards this opportunity because the district has been dedicated to serving the interests of the whole child. If selected to be superintendent, Mr. Dziowgo plans to continue to focus on the necessary atmosphere that is required to provide outstanding and well-rounded learning opportunities to ensure successful students. His educational leadership background has included providing similar resources for students, staff, and community members. He describes his leadership style as a blend of servant leadership and transformational leadership. Mr. Dziowgo believes a superintendent should support the students, staff, and stakeholders in order for the school district to continually make progress towards excellence and success. Mr. Dziowgo and his family are excited for this opportunity become members of and contribute to the Columbia Falls community, and he feels that Columbia Falls is on the path towards excellence.”

Maheras is currently the superintendent of the Helena Flats School District in Kalispell. The press release said the following about Maheras:

“Mr. Maheras has been actively involved with children and young adults for most of his adult life. He served as a juvenile probation/parole officer with the state of Washington and Walla Walla County; then as counselor working with at-risk-youth for Children’s Home Society of Washington. He has enjoyed working in public education for the past 20 years – 14 in administration; the last 8 in his home state of Montana. His experience has been working with students at all grade levels from kindergarten to high school, multiple demographics, both rural and urban settings.

Mr. Maheras believes that school leaders must create a system of accountability and professionalism that facilitates student achievement and overall school improvement. He also holds a strong belief that all kids can learn and seeks to provide them opportunities, encouragement, and support to become their best selves. He has stated that educators need to address the whole child and provide a setting that is safe for learning as well as provide instruction that is geared to meet different student needs.”

A community forum will be held at the Little Theater at Columbia Falls High School on Tuesday, April 11, at 6:30 p.m., when the candidates will be on hand to field questions.