Kalispell School Board Considers Three Candidates for Interim Superintendent Position  

The board will interview Matt Jensen, Randy Cline and Brett Zanto on May 8

By Denali Sagner
The entrance to the Kalispell Public Schools office in downtown Kalispell on Sept. 27, 2019. Hunter D’Antuono | Flathead Beacon

The Kalispell Public Schools Board of Trustees will interview three candidates for the position of interim superintendent after a unanimous vote at a May 2 board meeting.

The board selected the three candidates — Randy Cline, Matt Jensen and Brett Zanto — from a pool of five applicants. Interviews will take place on May 8, and the school board will select an interim superintendent that night.

Cline served as the superintendent of the Frenchtown School District for 14 years before retiring in 2020.

Jensen is currently the assistant superintendent of the Kalispell Public Schools, and previously served for seven years as the superintendent of the Bigfork School District.

During the May 2 meeting, attendees praised Jensen, calling him “extremely bright” and saying that “he has the best interests of everybody in this room and outside of this room at heart.”

Zanto has served as the principal of Capital High School in Helena since 2013, and was previously a teacher in the Bozeman School District.

The school board at an April 18 meeting voted to search for an interim superintendent to replace current Superintendent Micah Hill, who will leave the district this summer to become the head of the Missoula County Public Schools. Hill took the helm of the Kalispell schools in July 2020, after serving in numerous roles in the district, including assistant principal and principal at Glacier High School, principal at Linderman Middle School and dean of students at Kalispell Middle School.

Though the board solicited applications for a full-time superintendent earlier this spring — and reviewed five candidates’ applications — they opted to instead select an interim superintendent, and begin a new search in the fall in hopes of fielding a wider selection of candidates.

“I really think that we did a good thing,” Trustee Rebecca Linden said at the Tuesday night meeting, adding that the decision to hire an interim administrator will grant the board “maximum flexibility for when the time comes to choose a superintendent.”

Correction: The Beacon previously misidentified Randy Cline’s last name as “Klein” and Brett Zanto’s last name as “Samuels.”