Building Relationships, Building Trust

Type: Article
Topics: District & School Operations, School Administrator Magazine

February 01, 2023

A new superintendent, facing a budget shortfall during the pandemic, details his journey toward increased community support

On Aug. 1, 2019, I was a middle school principal of seven years preparing to welcome back staff in a small community I knew quite well. By Aug. 15, I was appointed interim superintendent in a new community with a new team. I faced a major learning curve. My first day on the job would be the all-staff event on Aug. 28.

My new district, Cambridge-Isanti Schools, is a rural district about an hour north of Minneapolis. We serve 5,000 students from one county, two cities and 10 townships, covering 292 square miles. The district has a proud history as a leader in east-central Minnesota. However, after a decade of spending down its fund balance, the district had fallen on hard times financially.

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Nate Rudolph


Cambridge-Isanti Schools in Cambridge, Minn.