DSC superintendent named: Darrin Roach prepares for the first day of classesThe Dickinson Catholic Schools are under the guidance of a new superintendent, Darrin Roach, who started July 1. He is replacing Sister Dorothy Zeller.
By: Linda Sailer, The Dickinson Press
The Dickinson Catholic Schools are under the guidance of a new superintendent, Darrin Roach, who started July 1. He is replacing Sister Dorothy Zeller.
His most recent position was at Fargo, where he served as principal of Sullivan Middle School, grades 6-8 — part of the Fargo Catholic Schools Network.
“That’s made this job jump relatively easy,” he said. “I’ve come from a system with two grades, a middle school and a high school.”
Since arriving, Roach has worked with the administrative team and staff to get ready for start of classes on Wednesday.
“That’s when things get enjoyable — when the staff and students are here and things seem to move at a very fast pace,” he said.
Roach will work closely with THS Principal Carter Fong, Elementary Principal Peggy Mayer, the school board and associated groups.
“Of course, the bishop is president of the board. He’s coming Sept. 1 for the annual bishop’s board meeting. I’m getting prepared for that,” said Roach.
He also is preparing for the all-schools inservice on Tuesday when the faculty and staff come together for a day of training.
Roach grew up at Bismarck and attended the Catholic school system there. He graduated from Valley City State University in 1988 with a degree in secondary history and minors in physical education and coaching. He earned a master’s degree in education administration from the University of Mary in 1998.
He has taught, coached or served in administration at numerous schools throughout North Dakota and Montana.
The schools included St. Ann’s Elementary, St. Mary’s Elementary and St. Mary’s High School in Bismarck. He served at White Shield, which is located west of Garrison and Barnes County-North, located north of Jamestown. He also worked at Solen, Jordan, Mont., and Onida, S.D.
Roach doesn’t have a favorite tenure of teaching.
“They all have their special things,” he said. “I hear from students and parents from my very first place I ever taught.”
Throughout the years, he’s coached football, basketball, baseball, track and golf. Those experiences have led to friendships from around the state.
“When my wife and I go to Minot, Bismarck or Fargo, it takes hours to walk the mall because people stop so often,” he said.
His wife, Andrea works as an administrative assistant at a middle school in Fargo, and they have four daughters. For the time being, his family will remain in Fargo.
Roach considers the upcoming months as part of a learning curve when he meets committees and groups associated with the school.
“I think marketing and development is a very key area for us if we are to continue serving students in a high quality,” he said. “We need to bring in funds and people to help us do that.”
Roach said there is a certain amount of satisfaction in education unlike other professions.
“I think it’s the personal relationships I’ve formed,” he said. “I can go to any meeting throughout the state and know people. Networking can be very positive. If I need something, I have a lot of friends who can help me.”
Roach has set a standard of excellence that he expects of the faculty and of himself.
“We can’t be complacent, but we must keep building and improving, not just our football and basketball teams, but drama, speech, our religious program — all those things need to be done at a high level. That’s what I expect from my kids and my staff as well.”
Roach likes to manage with an open door.
“The doors are open to everybody,” he said. “As a smaller school, we have an opportunity to serve students at a much lower teacher-student ratio. Teachers get to know the kids a little bit better.”
It’s his goal that when students leave the Catholic school system, they will have the background and skills necessary to lead.
“Hopefully, they will come back to serve our community and our school here, or to go world-wide,” he said.
Brian Rummel, vice chairman of the Dickinson Catholic Schools Board, said the board is looking forward to Roach’s leadership in running the school system.
“He brings a lot of experience from the different school systems that I think will benefit our school,” said Rummel. “He will have a different viewpoint because he’s coming from outside the Dickinson Catholic School system, which will be good for us.”