Bates says she’s a relative of Jim Kent

    Crookston School District Superintendent Chris Bates told the Times Friday that a new counselor/social worker has been hired at Crookston High School, and her name is Leah Kent. She's related to Jim Kent, who retired a few years ago after being a longtime music teacher in the district.   

    "So she knows a thing or two about Crookston," Bates said.   

    Earlier this week, Bates told the Crookston School Board that four finalists had been interviewed for the position and that all four were worthy of being offered the position. "We managed to secure the one that we feel is the best fit," he said.   

    Kent grew up in Hatton, N.D. and attended North Dakota State University. After going on a one-year mission trip to Uganda, Bates said, she returned to the United States and earned her masters degree from Colorado State University. "She was described to us as being in the top 1 percent of students in the program," Bates said. "So that's pretty high praise."   

    Kent will succeed longtime counselor Jackie Robertson, who's retiring. Bates said Robertson is leaving big shoes to fill. "I've only known Jackie for two years, but I know replacing her will not be easy," he said. "She's done a great job and is a fun person. The kids like her, her colleagues like her, everyone likes Jackie. She's been a cornerstone of this district."

Principal update   

    After interviewing a trio of applicants and not offering the CHS principal position to any of them earlier this spring, the district tweaked the job description and re-advertised it. Applicants continue to trickle in, Bates said, and another one was interviewed on Thursday but the job will not be offered to that person, either.   

    "But then two more applications came in the same day," he said. "We don't close the application window until May 1, so we'll just continue to monitor what comes in and evaluate the situation as we seek the person with the best possible fit."