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WHS hires Backer as its new principal

WORTHINGTON -- Windom Area High School principal Scott Backer has been hired for the vacant principal position at Worthington High School.

Backer has served as an assistant principal for the Park Center and Forest Lake school districts and was secondary principal at Wabasha-Kellogg before becoming high school principal in Windom for the 2005-2006 school year. He has 13 years of administrative experience either as an assistant or acting high school administrator.

Worthington District 518 superintendent John Landgaard described Backer as personable and outgoing.

"He brings a level of consistency and will look to help continue to provide quality education at the high school," Landgaard said. "He has a great deal of knowledge and experience from which to draw from."

Backer's hiring will be formalized at the May 23 regular meeting of the Board of Education. He will begin his new duties on July 1.

Backer lives in Worthington with his wife, Jennifer, who is the assistant principal at Worthington Middle School. The Backers have two children, Chance, 4, and Samuel, 2, with another child due in mid-July.

"I'm very excited about just becoming a full-fledged contributing member of the community," Backer said Tuesday. "I was looking for a little bit bigger school -- a school that had a little bit more to offer in support and programming. I've been very impressed with the (Worthington) school system and the community."

Backer said that when he accepted the Windom position, he had no intention of looking elsewhere so soon. But while living in Worthington, he began to grow enchanted with the community.

"I was surprised at what a really wonderful community and school system Worthington had to offer," he said. "It was a surprise to me."

Current Worthington High School principal Bruce Blatti, a 20-year veteran administrator at District 518, recently announced his upcoming retirement.

Eighteen resumes were received for the new WHS principal position, and the candidates were trimmed to four -- Backer, WHS assistant principal Shane Laffen, Hinckley-Finlayson High School principal Mark Roubinek and Storm Lake, Iowa, High School principal Michael Hanna. Two committees conducted extensive interviews with the four finalists last week.

Doug Wolter

Doug Wolter is the Daily Globe sports editor. He served as sports reporter, then sports editor, news editor and finally managing editor at the Daily Globe for 22 years before leaving for seven years to work as night news editor at the Mankato Free Press in Mankato. Doug now lives in Worthington with his wife, Sandy. They have three children and seven grandchildren. Doug, retired after a lengthy career in fast-pitch softball, enjoys reading, strumming his acoustic guitar and hanging around his grandchildren. He also writes books on fiction. Two of his stories, "The Genuine One" and "The Old Man in Section 129" have been distributed through a national publisher.

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