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Craig Ramano









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Kent Kultgen selected as Snohomish superintendent

Courtesy photo
Kent Kultgen was selected last week to lead the Snohomish School District starting July 1.

SNOHOMISH — The new superintendent for the Snohomish School District will be Kent Kultgen, who is the superintendent in Helena, Montana. He starts here July 1. 
The Snohomish School Board voted 5-0 to select Kultgen as retiring superintendent Bill Mester’s replacement on Thursday, March 31 after deliberations. The board is expected to approve a three-year contract for Kultgen on April 13.
Kultgen, 50, said right after the selection that he was excited about his new adventure but still had a lot to do to move from Big Sky Country to the Evergreen State.
“I’m real excited they chose me,” Kultgen said. “I’m here in Montana until the end of June and start in Snohomish in July; and I’ll be there numerous times between now and then, visiting with the community, getting to know people, transitioning into the school district, finding a place to live, and getting my wife over here and settled.”
He is happy to come to Snohomish to move closer to family. He has a daughter and son-in-law and two grandchildren living in south King County.
Kultgen’s credentials include being the superintendent of two other, smaller Montana school districts and being a high school teacher and a middle school teacher. He has worked in education for 25 years.
Mester is retiring June 30 as is his wife Fran Mester, who is an associate superintendent in the Monroe School District.
Kultgen was enthusiastic last week.
“I’ve done my research and I’m excited to take over the helm from Dr. Mester — he’s done a great job positioning the district to move into the future,” Kultgen said Thursday. “We can move ahead together and I’m very aware that the community trusts the schools for the education of their youth. Together we’ll reach out to all kids and continue to educate them.”
Kultgen’s district tour and final interview with the board was March 24. 
Kultgen was among an original pool of 13 applicants. He was selected over finalist Bill Gronseth, the superintendent in Duluth, Minnesota’s school system. 
The third finalist was Becky Berg, the superintendent for Marysville’s school district. Berg withdrew from the race days before the selection. 
Berg provided a statement through the Marysville School District on why she withdrew: “As I was going through the interview process, I continued to think about my ongoing work on behalf of Marysville 
students and their families, and the excitement we are experiencing both in our classrooms and in the community,” Berg said in the message. “With all this momentum, I feel my work in Marysville is not done. My first priority is to build upon our efforts in the Marysville School District and ensure each student has the educational resources and 21st Century tools needed to be successful.”
The Snohomish School District declined comment on Berg’s withdrawal through its spokeswoman Kristin Foley last week.
The district wanted to find its next superintendent before a deadline of April 4, the first day for spring break in the district.
In related news
In early March, both Kultgen and Everett School District associate superintendent Molly Ringo were finalists to take over as the superintendent in Walla Walla’s school system in Eastern Washington.
Neither candidate won the position. Walla Walla’s school board selected Wade Smith, who is the superintendent in Hermiston, Oregon.


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