WORTHINGTON — Area schools are in full swing, and select schools will experience a change in leadership for the 2018-2019 school year.
School districts in southwest Minnesota and northwest Iowa with new administrators include Fulda (superintendent Loy Woelber and elementary principal Michael Pagel), Westbrook-Walnut Grove (high school principal Sam Woitalewicz), Sibley-Ocheyedan, Iowa (high school principal Stan De Zeeuw) and Harris-Lake Park, Iowa (high school/middle school principal Greg Hiemstra).
Sam Woitalewicz, WWG High School Principal: Woitalewicz joins W-WG after spending the past six years teaching elementary-aged students in Tracy.
Woitalewicz said he wanted to take on the new leadership role within a school district because he’s passionate about student health and well-being.
“I wanted to do my best to make sure all students have a good school experience,” he said.
His goals for his first school year as principal include helping all students find success not only academically, but in their personal lives.
“I also want all students to feel appreciated as a member of W-WG schools,” he added. “I’m excited to be in a wonderful school district and really looking forward to a great year here.”
Stan De Zeeuw, Sibley-Ocheyedan 7-12 Principal: De Zeeuw is bringing a 17-year experience in education to his first administrator role at the Sibley-Ocheyedan school district. He previously taught business courses in Rock Valley, Iowa (13 years) and Remsen-Union CSD.
De Zeeuw said he and his family felt it was time he take the next step in his career.
“We waited until we felt we had the right opportunity in front of us and Sibley-Ocheyedan was that opportunity and position,” he said.
With the new school year and being in a new school district, De Zeeuw hopes to get to know the students and staff and build positive relationships.
“I am looking forward to getting plugged into the school system and communities it serves,” he said.
Greg Hiemstra, Harris-Lake Park MS/HS Principal: Hiemstra is excited to be returning to northwest Iowa in a new capacity. Having previously taught social students at Garner-Hayfield-Ventura as well as serving as the dean of students and activities director at Howard-Winneshiek CSC at Crestwood Secondary in Cresco, Iowa, Hiemstra said there were a number of reasons he applied for the principal position at H-LP.
“I’m excited about Harris-Lake Park due to the district size and the opportunities we have because of it,” he said. “I’m passionate about my new role because I have the opportunity to impact the community, teachers and students immediately.”
Hiemstra’s goal for his first school year at the new district is to learn as much about student and community needs as possible.
“Then start to input my views and philosophy on education that I have experienced through other districts and my own personal education,” he added.