Former Fargo Superintendent David Flowers is looking to return to the area - but as West Fargo's top leader.
Flowers, superintendent of Hutchinson (Kan.) Public Schools, submitted his application Wednesday night, joining 17 others vying to be West Fargo's next superintendent.
"I've lived in the community ... and have watched the West Fargo district grow," he said Thursday from Kansas. "I know that it's a quality district that's searching for a leader that has some skills and experiences that I think I could offer."
The 58-year-old was Fargo's superintendent for eight years before leaving in 2007 for Kansas. At the time, he said he wanted to be near family there.
Changing personal circumstances and the fact two of his daughters still live in Fargo contributed to wanting to return, he said.
West Fargo School Board Vice President Karen Nitzkorski commended Flowers on Thursday for his extensive experience.
"I really like that we have candidates of that caliber," she said.
The board meets on Monday to review the applicants and pick finalists to interview.
While Nitzkorski said no candidate is a shoe-in, she "would guess he'd certainly be in the pool we'd consider because of his experience."
Flowers has been in education for 37 years, starting as a teacher in Kansas.
During his tenure in Fargo, Flowers took some heat for suggesting that Fargo schools be allowed to tap some of the taxing authority in the West Acres area, which is in Fargo city limits but in West Fargo School District boundaries.
He said on Thursday he "would be completely comfortable" working for the neighboring school district now.
Before returning to Kansas in 2007, he said he'd like to retire there. However, that was assuming he'd stay there longer, he said on Thursday, adding, "I'm not anywhere near wanting to retire."
If he were to get the West Fargo top spot, he might have to take a pay cut.
The Hutchinson News reports he currently receives a salary of about $193,000. West Fargo has advertised that the next superintendent will be paid $140,000 to $160,000.
According to the Hutchinson School Board's meeting minutes, the district announced last month that it needs to make $2 million to $3 million in cuts after already making more than $2.1 million in cuts to the current year's budget.
The district has about 4,700 students. By comparison, Fargo has about 10,400 students and West Fargo has nearly 7,000 students.
West Fargo applicants
* Allen Burgad, superintendent of Northern Cass Schools in Hunter, N.D.
* Kinberly Burger, elementary trainee in Modesto, Calif.
* Stacey Cooper, principal of Malabar Middle School in Mansfield, Ohio.
* Louise Dardis, assistant superintendent in West Fargo Schools.
* Arla Dockter, former superintendent of Sleepy Eye (Minn.) School District.
* Paul Durand, superintendent of Winona (Minn.) Area Public Schools.
* David Flowers, former superintendent of Fargo Schools and current superintendent of Hutchinson (Kan.) Schools.
* Thomas Graves, assistant superintendent of Washington County Public Schools in Abingdon, Va.
* Greg Grooters, principal of West Fargo's Sheyenne Ninth Grade Center.
* Diane Gross, assistant superintendent of Haysville (Kan.) School District.
* Tom Hisiro, director of graduate studies at Bethel University in McKenzie, Tenn.
* Anne Lundquist, principal consultant at McREL in Denver, Colo.
* Rollie Morud, former assistant education commissioner with Minnesota Department of Education.
* Tamara Schultz, director of curriculum for West Central Education District in Sauk Centre, Minn.
* Jamie Skjeveland, superintendent of Crosby-Ironton (Minn.) Schools.
* Rod Thompson, superintendent of St. Anthony/New Brighton (Minn.) Schools.
* Jim Torkelson, former elementary principal in Grand Forks, N.D.
* Tamara Uselman, superintendent of Perham-Dent (Minn.) Schools.