Shawn Leiss, the current Assistant Principal for the Dickinson Middle School,announced last week he will officially be leaving his position to become the Director of Student Services with Dickinson Public Schools.

With the decision happening at the end of the 2020 school year, Leiss looks forward to beginning the summer to prepare for the upcoming 2020-21 school year next fall.

“I am super excited to be joining the team at the central office and the opportunity to work with the staff and administration of all of the schools in our system to provide a high quality education for ALL students,” Leiss wrote in an email to The Dickinson Press.

Although Leiss is excited for the transition, he admitted the decision was not an easy one to make.

“It was a very difficult decision,” he wrote. “Being involved in the planning, developing and launching of Dickinson Middle School has been very gratifying ... DMS is heading in a positive direction with a great team of educators. It just seemed like a good time to take on a new challenge as the Director of Student Services. I feel very fortunate to have been given the opportunity to serve in this position.”

Leiss is looking forward to adding his own ideas to the job and is looking forward to getting started to the next level.

“I want to maintain and build on the idea of collective responsibility for our students,” he wrote. “As a community and school district we need to make sure that we have efficient use of resources and we work together as a team to serve all of our students. Schools across the nation have been faced with challenges of meeting the mental health needs of students. Enhancing our districts ability to meet the social and emotional needs of our students is one area on which I will focus.”

However, Leiss stated the staff and students at the Dickinson Middle School will always have a special place in his heart and will continue to be with him in his new position within the Dickinson Public Schools system.

"I will miss the daily interactions with students. It is very satisfying to work with students that are transitioning from elementary school to the high school,” he wrote. “You get to see so much growth and development in students at the middle school level. I will also miss the team spirit and comradery that exists among the DMS staff.”