Ludens to exit position in July
Board hires Minn. candidate for superintendent
April 23. 2012 3:40PM
With his resignation accepted by the Dell Rapids School Board, superintendent Tom Ludens plans to move on from his work in Dells when a new hire assumes the position in July.
With the completion of varied construction projects in the district – namely the elementary building and high school addition – Ludens said that moving on to new experiences leaves Dell Rapids with a fresh slate.
“Things are done – the construction part is done,” he said. “I’m leaving the position for the next person in pretty good shape.”
The superintendent said it might be good to have a new set of eyes and new ideas on the district’s goings-on. New hire Summer Schultz of Murray County Central in Slayton, Minn., will officially take over the position after the July 9 reorganizational meeting of the Dell Rapids School Board.
During his time here, Ludens said that the school board has been a cooperative body with which to work. “The school board through the years has been pretty receptive to a lot of ideas,” he said. “I’ve enjoyed the time that I’ve been here. My decision was one of those tough ones.”
Ludens’s experience in Dell Rapids has been a positive one, he said, due partially to good attitudes toward education.
“I think the community’s been growing and has seen a lot of changes,” he said. “The community as a whole, with two schools in this district, has been fairly pro-school.”
Though not a lot of superintendent possibilities are open of late, according to Ludens, he plans to remain in the field as closely as possible. “I’m going to stay involved in education somehow,” he said.
The current superintendent said that he’s interested in pursuing principal or education management positions as well.
His previous experience includes social studies and political science instruction for nine years, followed by 30 years as either a principal or superintendent, including three years as Platte’s superintendent and 16 years as Dells’.
“I’ve spent all this time in education,” he said. “I think I’ve got some good ideas left in me.”
Minn. educator to assume open spot
The new superintendent cited the respect that the Dells schools draw as a positive part of her decision to accept the position. “Dell Rapids is a vibrant community that is known for strong school systems,” she said. “The community is growing and has a viable economic infrastructure in place. I can tell a lot of work has been done to move the district and community in a progressive direction.”
Schultz received her Bachelor’s degrees in elementary education and K-12 computer science from Dakota State University. She achieved a Master’s from the same school and received administrative and superintendent licensure from Saint Mary’s and Minnesota State University, respectively.
The educator spent seven years teaching at Colman-Egan, before two years in Marshall, Minn., and one more in Lake Benton, Minn. She has served as a superintendent or principal for the past five years, most recently at MCC.
In her work as an administrator, Schultz has found that schools are the central hubs of all communities. “School activities bring community members together, not just to encourage a successful event, but also to support the efforts of staff and students.”
The job of a superintendent, particularly a new one, is to engage with the community, according to Schultz.
“The superintendent is one player amongst a whole team of individuals who work to engage a school community,” she said. “As the superintendent, it is also my job to listen to stakeholders.”
Schultz plans to meet with staff, students and community members as much as possible to gauge needs in the district. “There is so much to be learned just by listening,” she said. “I will try to set up a variety of opportunities to meet folks this summer. I encourage parents and community members to take advantage of those opportunities.”