Published on Wednesday, 30 November -0001 00:00
By Julie Bulau, Staff writer
People starting new jobs are familiar with the expression about the need to "hit the ground running". For new EV-W superintendent Mark Messman, however, the saying has an even more literal meaning.
When Messman, 49, took over duties July 2, he found himself entrenched in a major construction project involving all three buildings in the district. Work on two additional classrooms in Watkins, and six additional classrooms and a cafeteria at Eden Valley Elementary began in May, while construction on a new gymnasium and office spaces at the high school began in June.
"The building project has definitely added a heightened level of responsibility and accountability to my new position," Messman said.
Nevertheless, the new superintendent feels the transition has gone smooth. "The district-level staff and administration have been extremely helpful and thoughtful while I've been getting accustomed to the position," he said.
Messman has also had a number of opportunities to rub elbows with the public during Valley Daze and Kraut and Wurst celebrations and numerous individuals have stopped in the office to extend warm welcomes.
"I'm thoroughly impressed with the frequent compliments and words of praise that are directed at the school system and staff," Messman said. "I'm convinced that the communities of Eden Valley and Watkins work hand-in-hand with the school district to benefit our youth. I'm excited to become a member of the school community."
Messman comes to EV-W from the Holdingford School District where he spent 20 years as a phy-ed/health/social studies teacher, activities director and most recently, elementary principal. As Holdingford's head football coach, he was very familiar with the EV-W district, a Central Minnesota Conference rival.
Over the years, he grew thoroughly impressed with the EV-W district. "The staff, coaches and administration I've gotten to know over the years have been very sincere and come across as very student-friendly, and with an education mindset, where kids are always at the forefront of their decision-making," he said during a recent interview.
Messman hopes to build on
EV-W's reputation for excellence. He has outlined some key goals for the district that include: A focus on staff development and training opportunities to ensure student engagement and effective instruction of 21st-century skills, maintain a safe and healthy school climate that demonstrates open communication and pride in our programs, everyone contributing to fiscal responsibility in these uncertain economic times, and focus on student achievement when faced with difficult decisions.