5608 Merle Hay Road · Johnston, Iowa 50131 · 515-278-0470

Johnston Community School District Names Two Finalists for Superintendent Position

Community invited to public forums March 10, 11

The Johnston Community School District Board of Education has named two finalists in the search for a new superintendent. Community members and district stakeholders will have an opportunity to meet the candidates at public forums on Monday, March 10 and Tuesday, March 11.

Monday’s forum will be held at the district’s Administrative Resource Center, 5608 Merle Hay Road, in the board room at 5 p.m. Candidate Michael Houselog will speak to stakeholders and answer questions during this time. Tuesday’s forum will be in the same location at 5 p.m. with candidate Corey Lunn. All forums will be video recorded and posted to the district website on the 2014 Superintendent Search page.  

The two superintendent finalists come from school districts outside of Iowa. Search firm Ray and Associates utilized national school administrator conferences and the internet to advertise the position. In a report to the Board, they said the job opening attracted many candidates nationwide.

Dr. Michael Houselog

Dr. Michael Houselog is a resident of Rockford, Ill. and current superintendent of the Belvidere Community Unit School District #100, located in Belvidere, Ill. He has held the position since 2007.

As superintendent for the Belvidere Community Unit School District, Houselog oversees a budget of $92.5 million and administration of 10 schools (two high schools, two middle schools, five elementaries, and a K-8 STEM magnet school). Belvidere is the 23rd largest school district in Illinois, with 8,300 students and a workforce of 1,050 staff members.

During his tenure at Belvidere, Houselog has initiated two unique programs: a cooperative dual-credit enrollment program with a local college and a school-based food pantry for low-income resident families. He has worked with the Belvidere Board of Education to close two schools and reduce more than $9 million from the district budget over a four-year period of time. As part of those budget reductions, he has led the process of dramatic boundary line changes, program modifications, and program reductions. Houselog oversaw a number of facilities projects as superintendent: the opening of a 9-12 high school with a 2,000 student enrollment in 2007; renovations to an existing high school in 2008; significant upgrades to an existing elementary school in 2008; and the construction of a new high school stadium in 2008.

Houselog earned his doctorate of education degree in Leadership in Administration from Aurora University (Wis.); education specialist degree in Educational Administration from Drake University (Iowa); master’s degree in Administration from Clarke University (Iowa); and bachelor’s degree in Education from Loras College (Iowa).

Dr. Corey Lunn

Dr. Corey Lunn is the second finalist and a resident of Lake Elmo, Minn. He has been the superintendent of the Stillwater Area Public Schools, located in Stillwater, Minn. since 2011.

The Stillwater Area Public Schools enroll approximately 8,500 students from 18 surrounding communities and operate on a $100 million budget. The district includes an early childhood family center, nine elementary schools (preK-6), two junior high schools (7-9), one high school (10-12), an alternative learning center, and a central services building. There are 1,000 certified/classified staff members in the district.

Lunn has led a number of initiatives during his superintendecy, including: district-wide STEM “Engineering is Elementary” projects, Project Lead the Way courses, and a state-of-the-art manufacturing/fabrication lab; public support and financing for the addition of art, global studies/world languages, and technology devices in all elementary schools; one of three districts nationwide working with UCLA to develop a framework for a comprehensive system of learning supports; participation in Federal “Readiness and Emergency Management for Schools” grant resulting in robust school safety plans; and implementation of a new curriculum process that focused on developing essential learning outcomes and utilized instructional coaches to support teachers across all grade levels.

Lunn holds a certificate in School Technology Leadership from the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities.  He graduated with his doctorate of education in Educational Policy and Administration from the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities; master’s degree in Biology Education from Mankato State University (Minn.); and bachelor’s degree in Biology Education from Southwest State University (Minn.)

Outgoing Johnston Community School District superintendent Clay Guthmiller announced his retirement in October 2013 after working in Johnston for eight years. His last day will be June 30, 2014. The new superintendent will take office July 1, 2014. Watch the district website for more information regarding the final selection of the new superintendent and activities to honor Superintendent Guthmiller before he retires.

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Contact: Laura Dillavou, Johnston Community School District Communications & Marketing. Ph: 515-278-0470 or 515-770-6206. Email:

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