In April, the St. James school board hired Steve Heil as the new superintendent of St. James Public Schools to replace Becky Cselovszki, who will be the new superintendent in Redwood.
The superintendent's job in St. James will be Heil's first experience as a superintendent.
"I'm personally really drawn to school districts that aren't just part of the community, but the main part of the community and a central part of the community," said Heil. "That's what really drew me to St. James. It's also a school district that is multi-dimensional and has a lot of diversity. I like being in school districts with diversity and working with a great group of educators."
Heil started his career as a teacher and as a coach but found himself drawn to coaching, teaching, and administration was the feeling of being something bigger than himself, and to help people learn and grow as a person.
"As a principal, I get to help students, teachers, parents, and community members learn and grow to become better people," said Heil. "As a superintendent, now that's a position where I to work with the whole school district and really become part of a community as part of the leadership of the community and really help— not only the school district— but a community to really grow, learn and be better for everybody."
Being a part of the community is a main focus for Heil once starting in St. James. In Delano, where he is currently principal, Heil is involved in different groups and organizations, including economic development, on a board for the Wright Technical Center in Buffalo.
Heil also plans to work with various services groups around St. James and Watonwan County.
Among the challenges Heil will face as superintendent are budgeting and operating a fund balance that. The fund balance has been a major talking point of the St. James school board. Heil has prior experience in writing federal title grants and dealing with multiple budgets.
In education, Heil also aims to help all students reach their academic potential.
"I'm looking forward to really helping the district grow to aid every individual learner and their educational growth and educational pathway in terms of college readiness."
Heil, his wife, and his five children are all looking forward to making the move southwest to St. James from Delano.
"We're really excited about moving to the St. James community and being part of the St. James community. It's a great opportunity for the seven of us and everybody is really excited about being there and the possibilities for our family."
Heil will officially take over as superintendent on July 1st.