HIBBING — In a surprise move, the Hibbing School Board tapped Richard B. Aldrich, the principal at Chisholm High School, to be the new superintendent for Hibbing schools, officials said on Monday.

The school board is scheduled to vote on an official contract during a regularly scheduled meeting on July 8.

Hibbing’s current superintendent Brad Johnson, who will retire in September due to health concerns, told the Hibbing Daily Tribune that Aldrich had been selected after interviews were held last week.

There were 13 applicants, including finalists Ryan Stewart, assistant principal of Hibbing High School; Brian Kaxmierczak, principal of Barnum High School; Adrian Norman, principal of Duluth Area Learning Center; and Kim Belcastro, superintendent of Wrenshall public schools.

Johnson confirmed that the board chose to offer the position to Aldrich, pending a contract agreement. School representatives confirmed that Aldrich accepted the role. It will take the board’s approval to make the hire official. It is unknown whether Aldrich would remain Chisholm’s principal.

In 2017, Aldrich was among the top five candidates interviewing to become the next superintendent in Chisholm. The position was ultimately awarded to Janey Blanchard, who recently expressed an openness to the idea of overseeing both the Chisholm and Hibbing school districts.

During a joint personnel committee meeting June 11 at Chisholm Elementary School, several members of each board discussed the possibility of sharing Blanchard as the superintendent over both districts. Ultimately, however, Blanchard’s name did not appear on the list of finalists for an interview last week.

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