The Hettinger School Board recently extended a proposal to hire current school counselor Darrin Seamands as their next secondary principal.
By COLE BENZ | Record Editor
The proposal was given to Seamands during the April 19 regular school board meeting.
The board currently has an offer out to Ryan Moser for the superintendent’s position, left open by the resignation, and subsequent buy out of Larry Sebastian’s contract.
Heather Ebert, the school’s business manager, said the board plans on continuing the combined position of superintendent and elementary school principal, a role Sebastian filled. Ebert cited budget constraints and the size of the student body as a reason for keeping the combined position, but added that they would continue to monitor the situation.
“We feel if, if they give it a chance, if it doesn’t work, they may have to revisit again,” she said.
By extending offers to two current faculty and administrative members, the board is bucking a recent hiring trend of finding candidates from outside the system, and part of that was on recommendation by the hiring committee on the school board, according to board president, Mike Knuth.
“That was the recommendation of the hiring committee, for both of those [positions],” Knuth said.
Seamands has been with the school district as the K-12 counselor for the past 10 years, and said that he saw this as an opportunity to help the school in a bigger role.
“In the position I am in as a k-12 counselor I felt that I could help Hettinger Public School by being in the administrative position,” Seamands said.
He didn’t always seek an administrative position, mainly because he would have had to leave the area to pursue those opportunities. But he loves Hettinger, and he’s here to stay, he said.
“For me, this is where I want to be,” Seamands said. “I can bring that Hettinger perspective, we need that, we need that in the community, it’s our kids we’re talking about.”
Though he has his master’s degree, Seamands said he needs to finish a few courses to earn his administrative credentials, something he can accomplish even after he is in the job, when he agrees to a final contract.
But he said he will miss his job as counselor, and that it’s hard to leave a position he’s known for the past decade.
“It is,” he said. “It really hit especially after I was offered the position…I love working with the kids.”
But he doesn’t look at it as losing a counselor, looks at is like they are gaining a second one, because he still retains his counselor credentials, said it was tough sometimes not to have another counselor to bounce ideas off of, or ask advice too in certain situations.
“I look at it like as it’s an opportunity to still have someone with that background that can help,” he said.
Seamands said he is excited for the new role, and is open to ideas from the community.
“I look forward to the challenges ahead, and I hope that everyone realizes my door is always going to be open, I’m open to ideas, I want to get the community involved in the school,” he said.
Seamands also is a member of the Hettinger City Council.
Ebert told the Record that they hope to have both contracts solidified by their next regular board meeting.