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French teacher starts at DHS

Students who were in danger of losing up to $1,500 per year in scholarship money no longer have to worry as Dickinson High School has found a French teacher, Lia Bradley.

Bradley, a graduate of Northwest Missouri State University, began her first day at DHS Tuesday.

Bradley takes the place of former French teacher Heather Hertz.

Hertz and DHS disputed about a contract and after Hertz resigned last spring. DHS had trouble finding a replacement.

Without a French teacher this semester, some students would not have gotten their second year of study in a foreign language, thus disqualifying them from the North Dakota Academic Scholarship and/or the North Dakota Career and Technical Education Scholarship.

"I am thrilled my former students will be able to further study French," Hertz is now Glen Ullin High School superintendent. "It will truly be beneficial in becoming a well-rounded student."

Bradley said she really likes teaching at DHS.

"The people and students are friendly," she said.

She added the only thing she doesn't like so far is the weather.

Bradley is from Mexico City. She said coming to Dickinson may be her destiny.

"My family and I were looking to spend some time in the states," Bradley said. "My husband (Shane) is from Dickinson. He got a job offer to be the principal at Hope Christian Academy and then we found that Dickinson High was looking for a language teacher so things just worked out perfectly."

Bradley has bachelor's degrees in Spanish and French and a master's in physical education.

"I think learning other languages is important," Bradley said. "Just from my own experiences it has been very beneficial. It has helped me meet new people, find jobs and become more cultured."

Bradley said she has many fun activities planned for her students and can't wait to begin.

"I am so glad we found her," said DHS Principal Ron Dockter. "It's great for our kids."

The State Board of Higher Education deemed Hertz's resignation a breech of contract which resulted in a $1,000 fine and 30 day suspension of her teaching license.

"There is really nothing the school district can do to prevent this type of circumstance from happening again," said Dickinson Public Schools Superintendent Doug Sullivan. "The district will look at each case individually to decide the appropriate action to take, if any."