MAPS makes leadership changes throughout the District
When the new school year begins for students in the Merrill Area Public School District, odds are there will be new faces greeting them in most buildings and leadership positions throughout the District.
The changes began when new Superintendent Shannon Murray took over in July for retired Superintendent Dr. John Sample. Murray is no stranger to the District, having served as the Merrill High School (MHS) Principal for the previous 16 years. Murray’s new role led to a bit of a domino effect around the District.
Trisha Detert, recent Principal and Director of the Pine River School for Young Learners (PRYSL) will take Murray’s spot at MHS. “We were fortunate to have very good candidate pools for each of our administrative positions this year, but throughout the process it was clear that Trisha was the right choice to lead MHS,” Murray said.
Former Prairie River Middle School (PRMS) Principal Ryan Martinovici transferred to PRYSL to replace Mrs. Detert where, according to Murray, “Ryan’s leadership, style, and eye for details will be a great asset to the PRYSL staff, students, and families.”
A search committee was then formed to find a new Principal for PRMS to replace Martinovici, and Diane Goetsch was selected to lead there, moving forward. “Diane comes to us from the DC Everest School District where she has served as an Administrator for a number of years. Her unique blend of leadership experiences and skills, her style, and her connections to the Merrill community make her a great fit,” Murray added.
Goestch will be joined by new PRMS Associate Principal, Matt Schult, who transferred from the same role at Kate Goodrich Elementary School.
Former Kate Goodrich Elementary teacher, Heather Kahr, replaces Schult at Kate Goodrich as the Associate Principal there.
Elsewhere in the District, Kelley Strike began this summer as the new Director of Business Services and replaced Edward Then, who accepted a position at Lakeland Union High School. According to Murray, “Kelley brings a wide variety of experiences to her new role that will be very valuable to our District. These skills, combined with her extensive network and resources, have already proven very helpful to MAPS.” Strike comes to Merrill from Tigerton, where she served as the Superintendent of Schools for the past two years.
Lastly, long time Merrill teacher and coach, Scott Arneson, has replaced John Miller as the High School and Middle School Activities Director. “Scott is very well known in our community, in our conferences, and throughout the state. He brings a nice mix of District history and knowledge, combined with a fresh outlook and enthusiasm, to his position. I am excited to see what Scott can accomplish in his new role,” Murray said.
While so many changes in leadership can appear intimidating on the surface, Murray is looking forward to the new look. “As a new Superintendent, having an opportunity to select and shape your team is very important and exciting. I certainly have had that chance here this summer and believe we have the right people in the right places to do some really great things for our students. I like where we’re heading.”