The Winona Area Public School Board Thursday voted 5 to 2 to offer Dr. Stephen West a contract to become the next superintendent of schools.
Last week three people, including two board members, Tina Lehnertz and Jeanne Nelson, visited West's Eden Prairie district for a site evaluation where he has served as director of education services.
Nelson told the board the feedback from the 29 individuals, including parents, teachers and administration, was very positive, noting strong leadership and listening skills and a passion for education.
Ben Baratto and Steve Schild voted against offering West a contract. They had both previously voted for their preference for Dr. Patrick Sweeney as their top choice.
Baratto said he was not swayed by positive remarks from people who West handpicked to talk to and he still felt Sweeney was better qualified.
If West accepts the job offer, the next stage in the process will be to negotiate a contract. The new superintendent will begin his duties on July 1st.