Dickinson Public Schools named Randy Muffley principal of Heart River Elementary School. The Michigan native will replace retiring principal Susan Cook.

Muffley has 25 years of experience in education, six of which he served as a teacher and 19 as an administrator.

"My vision for Heart River is to build on the great things that have been happening," he said. "The staff, students and community have created a shared vision of their school and I want to support and build on that shared vision. This district has begun some great work with creating High Reliability Schools. Communicating this work as part of our shared vision for Heart River will be an important part of my role and principal."

Muffley and his family are moving to North Dakota to be with his wife's family.

"My wife is originally from North Dakota ... so we're bringing her back home. Her family's still there. Her brother still has the family farm. Her mom's still there. We're going to be pretty close," he said.

Muffley said the sense of community and support around the district and the school is what drew him to Dickinson specifically.

"I want to continue to grow a school that all of the community is proud of and loves. I think listening to the community and communicating the great things happening at the school and district are crucial in building a strong community school," he said.

The location also provides the opportunity for Muffley and his family to enjoy the outdoors and some of their favorite hobbies.

"We love hiking. We do a lot of hiking over the years at national parks, and we're excited to be close to Theodore Roosevelt National Park and a lot of the other parks that really aren't that far away from Dickinson," he said.

In preparing for the role, he has had the fortune of speaking with both the retiring principal and district administration.

"I've actually had the pleasure of not only talking to Susan several times through virtual meetings, but I've been a part of the administrative meetings with the superintendent and the other principals since early April," Muffley said. "It's really been a very nice opportunity while I'm still in my current capacity to also be talking to the current principal Mrs. Cook and actually getting the lay of the land with all of the administrators."

He has two children, a daughter and a son, both of whom are in college. While his daughter will remain in Michigan to finish school, his son plans to enroll at Dickinson State University and is considering majoring in education.