March 18, 2015

Hazen School District tabs new superintendent

By LEE COLEMAN

Change can be scary when transitioning from one retiring veteran school superintendent to the new one. There is truth in experience paying dividends.
Mike Ness has served North Dakota public education for 42 years and will be retiring with all that experience. However, Ness has been working quietly behind the scenes for a few years in search of “the one” to turn over the Hazen School District to at the end of the school year.
And he found him.
Returning to his hometown to serve as the new superintendent is Hazen native Kendall (Ken) Miller, now a 22-year seasoned educator and superintendent, and alumnus of the Hazen High Class of 1988.
The appointment became official last week when the Hazen School Board gave final approval on a two-year contract that will pay Smith $106,000 next year with a three percent increase the second year.
Smith comes to Hazen from Kidder County, where he has served 10 years as the superintendent.
“My wife (Tina) and I are originally from Hazen and we still have family there,” said Miller. “We remember all the good things not only about Hazen but also about the school district. Once we saw the opportunity to be a part of that again, we were very excited to make that change.”
Miller said it was a tough decision to leave Kidder County, saying it was a wonderful community that provided for his family.


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