Richland 44’s Interim Superintendent has First School Board Meeting
"That to me had to be my number one goal. To get to know the students to get to visit with them, eat lunch with them every day and I've been doing that"
COLFAX, N.D. — Tim Godfrey resigned as Richland 44 Superintendent after he was put on paid administrative leave amidst a hazing scandal.
Now the district has an interim superintendent and he spoke at his first school board meeting.
“That to me had to be my number one goal. To get to know the students to get to visit with them, eat lunch with them every day and I’ve been doing that,” said Dean Koppelman, the interim superintendent.
Since May 1st, Richland 44’s interim superintendent has been checking off boxes on his list.
“In my eyes, the students here is what we are all about,” Koppelman said.
At Dean Koppelman’s first school board meeting in Colfax he explained his first priority.
“They need to realize how important they are in my eyes anyway and I’ve been letting them know how important they are to me as a superintendent and how much I care for them as students,” Koppelman said.
Koppelman says his next goal was to meet face to face with the parents of each student over the next few months.
“And I really felt that was a hefty goal to set but it’s so important to me that it’s going to happen,” Koppelman said.
Koppelman was hired in April to replace Tim Godfrey.
The superintendent, principal and athletic director all left their positions in the wake of a hazing and sexual assault investigation.
Five boys were referred to juvenile court in February.
“As of May 1st I am ready to take this on and I have no reservations folks what so ever about our district moving on, moving forward, taking care of all students,” Koppelman said.
After 25 years with super intendent experience, Koppelman isn’t afraid to take on this job and the school board says they are happy to have him as a part of their team.
“Glad to be here, thank you so much folks for having me, I can’t thank you enough for that,” Koppelman said.
Aside from hiring a new principal, Koppelman says he will continue to build on the staff and hire a new athletic director and head of football.