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Willmar School District reassigns principal

WILLMAR — Roosevelt Elementary School Principal James Hill has been reassigned.

Hill will spend the rest of the school year in the district’s central office as a “principal on special assignment,” Superintendent Jerry Kjergaard said Wednesday morning.

Hill said in a phone interview Wednesday that he will be helping with the district’s integration efforts and “looking forward to my new opportunity.”

Hill said he is doing as he has been instructed, but he will miss the children at Roosevelt.

“Everything’s fine, and I’m doing well,” he said, adding that he didn’t want to comment further about the change.

Cheryl Nash, the district’s curriculum director, will serve as the school’s interim principal through the end of the school year, he said.

The appointment went into effect on Wednesday.

Hill is on a non-disciplinary leave this week and will return April 7 to the district offices at the Willmar Education and Arts Center, Kjergaard said. Hill will work with pending changes in the district’s integration programs, do research and fulfill other duties as needed by the superintendent.

The Minnesota Data Practices Act prevents him from providing any more information about Hill’s transfer, Kjergaard said.

The district’s website lists Linda Bahe as the assistant principal at the school. She was also named administrator of alternative programs last month. Jamie Thompson will continue as dean of students.

At the March 10 Willmar School Board meeting, a transfer involving Bahe and Thompson was approved by the board. In transfers effective March 17, Bahe transferred from Roosevelt, where she had been dean of students, to be administrator of alternative programs. Thompson transferred from being Area Learning Center coordinator to being the Roosevelt dean of students.

Roosevelt students were sent home Wednesday with a letter from the school explaining the changes, according to district spokeswoman Mandi Lighthizer-Schmidt.

Roosevelt staff members were notified of the changes on Tuesday, she said in an email, and other staff members were told on Wednesday.

“Roosevelt’s staff will continue to provide children with a quality education,” she said.

Linda Vanderwerf

I cover education issues for the West Central Tribune and have worked for the paper since 1995. I have worked in journalism since 1981.

Follow me on Twitter: @lindavanderwerf

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