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Oswego School Superintendent Interviewing Out of State Monday

Jan 17, 2016 05:37PM ● Published by Steven Jack

Superintendent Matthew Wendt

ORIGINALLY POSTED ON JAN. 17, 2016

Oswego School District 308 Superintendent Matthew Wendt will interview this week for a superintendent position in Fayetteville, Arkansas. 

According to a report in the Northwest Arkansas Democrat Gazette, Wendt will interview at 5 p.m. Monday for the leadership position in the Fayetteville Public School District. 

Wendt is no stranger to the area, as he received his doctorate from the University of Arkansas at Fayetteville. He also has a child attending college in the area.

Reached Sunday, District 308 Board President Matt Bauman said he was made aware of Wendt's interview over the weekend. However, he said he doesn't believe Wendt is seriously considering the position, and may be interviewing as a courtesy to the outgoing superintendent, who is a personal friend. 

"I don't think Dr. Wendt has a strong motivation to leave Oswego," Bauman said. "He has a good contract here. We've discussed his intentions, and I think he's committed to Oswego for the near future."

Wendt could not be reached for comment, but Bauman said he did not formally apply for the position, but was instead asked to interview. Bauman also said Wendt has previously told the School Board that if he becomes a finalist for any other superintendent position, he would alert board members.

The Fayetteville Public School District is made up of 15 schools with an enrollment of 8,400 and a staff of 1,300. By comparison, School District 308 is made up of 22 schools, has a student population of about 18,000 students and a total staff of about 2,800.

"I honestly don't see Dr. Wendt leaving Oswego for a smaller school district," Bauman said.

Wendt came to School District 308 in 2012 from Ankeny, Iowa. He left Ankeny for Oswego in a cloud of controversy as the local school board filed suit against Wendt for what they said was deliberately misleading the school board when board members voted to provide him with a $176,000 severance package. That suit was eventually settled with Wendt receiving half of the previously agreed upon severance amount. 

Wendt is currently in the midst of a five-year contract in Oswego that pays him a $225,000 annual base salary and up to $309,000 in total bonus and annuity payments at the successful completion of the contract.

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