HASTINGS, Minn. — The Hastings School Board has chosen to work with the Minnesota School Boards Association in its search for the district’s next superintendent.

The board voted unanimously Thursday during a special public meeting to pay MSBA about $11,000 for its executive search services, though the cost is not finalized. MSBA is a private, nonprofit organization of which each Minnesota public school board has opted to be a member, according to its website.

MSBA also assisted in hiring the district’s interim superintendent, Jeff Pesta.

The MSBA was one of two respondents to the district’s request for proposals. The other, Nebraska-based national search firm McPherson and Jacobson, LLC, would have charged around $10,500, board chair Kelsey Waits said.

“I think MSBA is the very clear cut choice to go with this,” school board director Scott Gergen said, emphasizing the organization’s detailed presentation and familiarity with school districts statewide.

During presentations during Wednesday's regular board meeting, MSBA representatives described their approach as collaborative with the board and community. The typical process includes focus groups of students, teachers and community members, as well as public meetings for residents.

“A lot of states don't have an MSBA and that’s why they need these Midwestern regional search firms,” interim superintendent Jeff Pesta said. “MSBA, because they're handling so many postings, they’re attracting a candidate pool … It’s a unique situation, I wish everyone had an MSBA.”

The next superintendent will start July 1. MSBA representatives said at the meeting that their process typically lasts two to four months.