Hardy, Heppner among new hires

    A couple weeks after Superintendent Chris Bates and members of the Crookston School Board expressed concern about a lack of applicants for important vacant positions, the board will hold a special meeting on Aug. 4 to fill several of them.   

    Monday's meeting agenda includes the following hires and personnel moves:   

    • The hiring of Josh Hardy as half-time dean of students at Crookston High School: It's a full-time position, and he is expected to spend the other half of his time in some sort of instructional capacity, likely in health and physical education.   

    "We are excited to have Josh Hardy on board as our new dean of students," new CHS Principal Eric Bubna said. ""The committee was impressed with what he had to offer Crookston."   

    Bubna said there was a strong pool of candidate for the position, made available and subsequently reduced to half-time with the instructional component, when Don Donarski resigned in July.    

    "I am confident that his ability to build trust and relationships with students is going to make him very successful in his new role," Bubna said of Hardy, who taught phy-ed and health in the Fisher School. "I believe we are fortunate to have a person of Josh's caliber on our staff."   

    "He really had a great interview," Bates told the Times Thursday. "His enthusiasm and personality are going to be a big asset in the halls of Crookston High School."   

    Hardy is an assistant Pirate boys' hockey coach and is also the Crookston youth hockey coordinator. He's currently coordinating the Pirate hockey strength and conditioning program in the mornings at Crookston Sports Center.   

    Hardy was interviewed for the activities director position in the spring, which resulted in the hiring of Greg Garmen.   

    • The hiring of Kari Heppner as third grade teacher at Highland School, replacing the resigned Betsey McIntyre: Heppner has taught third grade at the Fisher School for many years.   

    • The hiring of Cynthia Fahser as a full-time Family and Consumer Sciences teacher, replacing the retired Jean Tester: As of mid-July, no one had applied for the open FCS position, which meant the state might have had to allow the school district to hire a "community expert."    

    Fahser comes from the Glenwood City School District in Wisconsin, where she’s taught FCS.   

    • The hiring of Kathryn Stronstad as special services director, replacing the resigned Kim Johnson, who took a job in Thief River Falls earlier this summer, where she lives: Stronstad comes to Crookston from the Mahnomen School District, where she's taught special education.   

    • The approval of Jeremy Lubinski as a .833 full-time-equivalent instructor at New Paths Area Learning Center, and a .166 phy-ed teacher at CHS: Lubinski had been a full-time phy-ed teacher in the district. This change is part of what Bates has called some staff reshuffling to make "all of the pieces fit" for the coming school year, with more shuffling to come over the next couple years.   

    • It's possible the agenda will include the hiring of a half-time New Paths ALC teacher.