John Hanson: Principal, Elba Public Schools, Director of Special Education, McCook Public Schools
I’ve written a lot of articles for the Communicator in the past two years, some share good news, some share indifferent news, and some share bad news. I’ve been dreading writing this article for about three months now, because I’ve still wanted my family and I to be considered a part of the Elba community. I’m pretty sure most everybody has heard that I will be leaving at the end of the 09-10 school year. This may be good news for some (ha ha!)
I will be leaving to be the Director of Special Education for McCook Public Schools three days out of the week, and the Director of Special Education for Educational Service Unit #15 two days out of the week beginning with the 2010-2011 school year. This is an opportunity that I did not seek out, they contacted me, because the individual that had been doing it for the last six years turned in a late resignation last year, and they have had an interim Director of Special Education this year. I am excited to have this position because special education is my area of expertise, as I was an elementary special education teacher in northern MN before I came here to Elba. I was definitely not looking to leave Elba, but I had to look into this opportunity, because it was truly too good to pass up for my family.
I am truly sad to leave the great students, staff, and community members of Elba. We have felt nothing but the warmest regards for the two years we have been here. We’ve started to some good things here at the school such as the blood drive, adopt-a-highway clean-up, senior community service hours, elementary reading program, mentoring program for new Elba teachers, reading mastery program for students with reading goals on their individual education programs, college credit classes for juniors and seniors, author/student of the month, and elementary teacher data retreats that I would like to see continue improving. That just takes time to make everything stick.
The good news is that we’ve hired a very qualified individual to be the next K-12 Principal at Elba Public Schools. His name is Mikal Shalikow, and he comes to us from Hay Springs, NE, in the panhandle by Chadron. He has previous experience as a K-12 Principal, and will no doubt work as hard as he possibly can to increase our student’s academic achievement. I was honored to be a part of the interview process for the new principal.
With that said, thanks for the memories. My family and I will miss Elba and the many positive relationships we’ve built here with students, staff and community members. We will come back for as many graduations as we possibly can in the future! I would like to close with one last thing to squelch any rumors: Elba Public School is not closing next year!