New super jumping in with both feet

Adam Hill has always known he wanted to be involved in the administrative side of education.


Posted August 16, 2012

Adam Hill
Hettinger’s new superintendent, Adam Hill, is hard at work a few days before the school years starts. Hill took over the reins mid-July.

By Jamie Spainhower

Record Editor

Adam Hill has always known he wanted to be involved in the administrative side of education.“I have a background in finance and business, and this has been my goal,” he said.Hill took over as Hettinger superintendent in July, when Christopherson resigned to take the superintendent position at another school.Hill was the high school principal for five years, and decided to apply for the job, even though it was a little earlier in his career than he anticipated.

“My kids are still a little young, but the opportunity came along and I didn’t know when it would come along, so I decided to go for it. I really like it here and want to stay in Hettinger, said Hill.

Originally from Colstrip, Mont., he graduated from DSU and then went back and taught in his hometown for a year before moving returning to North Dakota so his wife, Lori, could attend graduate school. Lori is a physician’s assistant at West River Regional Medical Center. The couple has four children, Haley, who will be a freshman this year, third-grade twins Megan and Abby, and son Spencer, who is 6 months old.

During that time, he taught and coached boys’ basketball, taking the team to the state tournament.

“I look forward to maintaining the goals we have been working toward over the past five years,” he said. Having been the principal will give him a good jump on the upcoming challenges to be faced as he takes over his new position.

“I know what we as a group have been trying to achieve, and what the overall plan is. That will be a huge help,” said Hill.

One of the main goals and challenges facing the school will be to transition fully into the common core standards.

This focuses on math, language and reading skills.

Already 48 of the 50 states have adopted this, and it will be going into full effect over the course of the school year, he said.

“All the fifth graders, for example, will be learning the same thing from the same texts so when they hit seventh grade everyone will be on the same page,” he explained. In the mean time, everyone will be working to make sure no students slip through the gap years.

With Measure 2 behind them, the school board plans to move forward with more capital improvements on the building, which they had been reticent about doing until they were certain of the funding situation they would be facing at the voter’s discretion. “This year we got the pool locker rooms totally redone and up to ADA code,” he said.

The crow’s nest was another thing that needed to be replaced and repaired.

“It needed immediate attention due mainly to safety reasons,” he said.

The school is also in the process of upgrading its Web site.

Other staffing changes

Kevin Morast, who has been the athletic director and social studies teacher at Hettinger, has taken over the position of grade 7-12 principal vacated by Hill. He will continue on as athletic director in addition to duties as the high school student council advisor.

Hired to replace Morast as a teacher is Jason LeFebre, a 2008 graduate of Hettinger High School.

Jodi Larson retired from her position as the director of the pre-school, which she has held for a decade since the program began. Sarah Skogen has been hired to be the new pre-school coordinator. Assisting her by doing the morning session will be Sarah Whipple. She’ll spend the rest of her time continuing as the elementary music teacher, a position she held last year.

“This will work out really well,” he said.

Heather Ebert has been hired to take over the job of business manage, replacing longtime business manager Loren Luckow.

“Mr. Luckow will stay on throughout the year to ease the transition process into the new job,” said Hill.

There are many state regulations and rules that his experience will help with to smooth the transition.

“There will be a time while I get my feet wet, but I’m looking forward to the new experiences and challenges,” he said. He will also continue to tech seventh grade keyboarding, which he said he would enjoy maintaining contact with students.

“My door is always open,” he said. Hill can be reached at