Before becoming Superintendent, Erica Kludt-Painter had been the principal at the Rae C. Stedman Elementary School for about 13 years. Leading the school district wasn’t a job she was really looking for. In 2014, she stepped into the role as interim Superintendent when a new hire didn’t stay long.
At first, Kludt-Painter says, the transition was hard.
“I was really happy with my job at the elementary school,” she said. “I loved being a principal. I miss a lot of things about that, on a daily basis I miss certain things about seeing regular contact with kids and all those kinds of things.”
But she’s since grown into the job. She says she’s learned a lot from others around the state about policy and programs. And she’s found things that she does enjoy about being Superintendent.
“I’m highly, highly connected with this community and the district,” Kludt-Painter said. “So from that perspective I’ve always said I could learn about the job. I’m very committed to this community, I care a lot about it and I care a lot about what happens in our schools and our kids so I figured I could learn things about the job and I think I have.”
School Board President Mara Lutomski spoke on the board’s behalf saying that they appreciate that Kludt-Painter stepped up in the first place and that she has continued to remain in her leadership role.
“As a board we are very thankful that we have her in place where she is,” Lutomski said. “We are happy for all the learning that she does do and the leadership that she gives to our district and the direction that she takes us in.”
Lutomski says Kludt-Painter goes above and beyond her role as Superintendent, wearing many different hats. And she takes on those roles without complaint.
“We’re a small district and we’re a conservative district and we don’t just hire in somebody to do the extra work that needs to get done whereas many other districts would,” she said. “And we have staff to thank for that and especially Erica for just saying ‘Okay, I’ll do that and I’ll do that, oh, and I’ll do that too.’ So we’re thankful for her and we’re very confident in signing this contract with her.”
Kludt-Painter’s three year contract runs 2019 through 2022. Her salary will be $130,000 the first year and bump up to $135,000 the next two years.