Last Friday, Michael Meihak flew in for a follow-up interview and flew out with an offer to become Yellow Medicine East’s high school principal. On Tuesday, he informed the district that they had found their man.
“We’re excited to have Mr. Meihak with us,” said YME?Superintendent Al Stoeckman. “We believe he’ll be a good fit for YME as we move foward.”
The majority of Meihak’s experience in education stems from his time at Janesville-Waldorf-Pemberton (JWP), a secondary school of approximately 460 students located roughly 20 miles east of Mankato in the town of Janesville (pop. 2,256).
Brought on as a Social Studies teacher in 1993, Meihak’s responsibilities continually evolved on his way to becoming the school’s 7-12 principal. For eight years he served in the post before a thirst for change led him to take a position with Hawaii Department of Education this past year.
Not even a full four seasons into his island sojourn, Meihak told the district that the quick return to Minnesota was due to family. With his return, the new principal said he was looking for slightly larger surroundings than those in Janesville and that in YME and the surrounding community he had located his ideal.
“I was very happy with the community, but wanted to look at a school a little bit bigger,” Meihak said. “The size of the school and the size of the community is what I am looking for.”
In addition to its numbers, Meihak also said that he was intrigued by the people thanks to positive word of mouth from JWP Superintendent Dick Orcutt, who had highly recommended the school and community. Orcutt, some may remember, served as interim superintendent for Yellow Medicine East beginning in 2008 as the district transitioned from Dwayne Strand to Stoeckman.
Meihak says that he is looking forward to meeting the staff and expects that both his time as JWP?principal and this past year serving as a school renewal specialist with Department of Education will come to be a benefit to the district.
“I am excited to be part of the school and look forward to both the challenges and positives that await,” he said.
Principal duties begin for Meihak beginning July 9, and soon he will begin the process of moving to the area with his wife, Sara, and their two children, Ellie (8) and Preston (5). He also has two boys from a previous marriage, Tyler (18) and Tanner (14).
The search for a new Bert Raney Elementary Principal remains in its infancy stages as the district is still currently accepting job applications.