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Skibsted named BVMS associate principal
By By Jill Meier
Challenger editor

April 02. 2013 9:29AM
When Brandon Valley administrators went in search of an associate principal for the middle school, they didn’t have to look far.

Superintendent Dave Pappone said the position was only advertised internally, receiving interest from four staff members.

“We’re so blessed to have so many great people on our staff,” Pappone said. “It’s a luxury not to have to go outside (of the district) and look.”

Nick Skibsted, whose taught seventh grade math since joining the Brandon Valley teaching staff six years ago, was selected for the associate principal position that was vacated earlier this year by Randy Hill for medical reasons.

“I am super excited to start the journey as an administrator in the Brandon Valley School District,” Skibsted said.

The associate principal job is the third administrative position that has been filled in recent weeks. Brad Thorson was hired as the middle school principal and Mark Schlekeway recently began his duties as associate principal at the high school.

“They were ready – Nick and Mark – and Brad’s been waiting to be principal of his own building after 13 years as associate principal dealing with student discipline every day,” Pappone said. “Having the leadership team in place now is really good because they can be involved in the hiring of staff, they get to put their own stamp on it.”

Skibsted begins his assistant principal duties at the middle school under the helm of Thorson at the conclusion of the 2012-13 school year.

“I think Brad and I will make a great team and provide excellent opportunity for the staff and students to be in a positive and effective learning environment, which will give everyone a successful and outstanding experience,” Skibsted said.

Duties of the new associate principal include discipline, helping with scheduling, creating and developing new ideas, working with teachers to help with student achievement, supervising activities, and other things as they come up.

“My job will differ due to the fact that I won’t be teaching students a specific content area such as math, yet I will still be able to help students grow through the leadership I can provide,” he said. “I will also be able to help students in an indirect way through my leadership I feel, even though I won’t be in the classroom everyday … to engage and enhance student learning and achievement. It will definitely be different not stepping foot into a classroom everyday, yet it is very exciting to be able to impact students from a different direction.”

Skibsted has immensely enjoyed his six years as a classroom teacher. While he looks forward to his new assignment, he admits he’ll miss the daily interaction with students in the various things he does.

“It is amazing to make impacts on student’s lives through your teaching in the classroom or on the field because the rewards are truly priceless,” he said. “My goal was always to make a difference in my student’s lives. I wanted to teach them life lessons and what it takes to be a good person with quality character. And I did that through teaching them math and coaching. I will miss the opportunity to have an influence on them directly as a teacher but will still have the chance to do so through my leadership with Brad.”

Brandon Valley has not only been Skibsted’s first teaching position, it’s also where he completed his student teaching. In addition to his classroom assignments, Skibsted also coached middle school basketball six years and football six years – three at the middle school and three at the freshman level. He’s also led the middle school student council, designed a travel opportunity to Washington, D.C. with Brady Olson for eighth graders, and has past associations with People to People, traveling internationally with students.
Skibsted, a math major, completed his secondary education degree at Augustana College in the fall of 2006. For the last two years he has been pursuing a degree in secondary administration, and is on track to finish up his final class and degree completion this May.

Skibsted said he’s most grateful for the opportunity to progress in his career at Brandon Valley.

“I want to thank the Brandon Valley School District for the commitment and outstanding education and opportunities that we provide for our students from education to all the extra-curricular activities we provide,” he said. “I have been so blessed and fortunate to be a part of such a great community, with outstanding teachers, supportive parents, and successful students. It is great to be a Lynx and call Brandon home.”





Nick Skibsted Challenger file photo



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