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Simenson moving to new principal position in Litchfield

WILLMAR — The new principal at Litchfield Middle School will be coming from Willmar.

Beckie Simenson, assistant principal at Willmar Middle School, will be in charge of the Litchfield school beginning Aug. 1.

The Willmar School Board accepted her resignation at Monday’s meeting.

Simenson was named Minnesota’s assistant principal of the year last winter and also represented the state in Washington, D.C., earlier this year.

“I’m very honored (Litchfield) selected me as their principal,” Simenson said.

The Litchfield School District has a number of new initiatives in the works, including a huge technology upgrade and safety upgrade project this summer, she said.

Students in grades 6-12 will be using MacBook Air laptops, and elementary students will be using Apple iPad tablets. “It’s very exciting,” she said. The access to technology “helps students get ready for the career world.”

Simenson, 53, grew up and graduated from high school in Willmar, and has worked in the district for two decades, so leaving is bittersweet, she said in a phone interview Wednesday.

But her first teaching job was in Litchfield, she said, “So for me, it’s a little like going home.”

And she is happy to have the opportunity to lead a building in such a good school district, she added.

“It was time for me to move on, get my own building and find some new challenges,” she said.

The middle schools in Litchfield and Willmar both serve students in grades 6-8, but the Litchfield school has about half the enrollment Willmar’s has.

Simenson started her administrative career as an elementary principal 12 years ago and eventually moved to the Middle School.

She hadn’t expected to find herself enjoying middle school kids and staff so much, she said, but she feels she’s found her calling with students that age.

In July, she’s splitting her time between the two schools, still wrapping up some things in Willmar and attending technology meetings in Litchfield.

Simenson said she’s looking forward to learning more about Litchfield Middle School and what it offers its students.

“I really feel fortunate to have had the opportunity to work in Willmar,” she said, and she’s looking forward to taking that experience along with her to another district.

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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