Aaron La Deaux ready for new challenge as Horace activities coordinator
La Deaux will lead Hawks activities after a four-year stint as activities director at Grand Forks Central
HORACE, N.D. — Aaron La Deaux is ready for a different adventure.
After serving for four years as the activities director at Grand Forks Central High School, La Deaux will now head 90 miles south to West Fargo Horace High School to become its newest activities coordinator.
The hire was announced by West Fargo Public Schools on Tuesday, Aug. 9.
"Aaron has a great vision for running an activities department with high integrity," West Fargo district activities director Logan Midthun said in a news release. "He will be an outstanding person to lead the charge not only with the new programs coming online, but to also continue pushing for excellence in the programs Horace High School has already established.”
La Deaux said he accepted the position in part due to the intrigue of being able to help build the Hawks' sports and activities programs from the ground up with the school opening just last fall.
"I knew even a year ago when Horace was getting built that that was something that would interest me for sure," La Deaux said. "Being able to start brand new programs, kind of put your own mark on it, work with your coaches and kind of go through that process."
La Deaux will take the reins from Midthun, who was Horace's first and previous activities director before accepting the West Fargo school district's newly formed district-wide activities director position in June . With a district-wide AD now in place, titles for school-level activities directors were changed to activities coordinators.
"I knew over a year ago before Logan actually got the job that it was something I was interested in, but it wasn't the right time for anything like that, so I didn't look too deeply," La Deaux said. "But this time around, when it popped open again, it really worked out timing-wise for myself and my family. My wife has a great job already in West Fargo, so that kind of helped and kind of pushed that process knowing she wouldn't have to leave that job and get a new one."
La Deaux said he also applied for the activities coordinator opening at West Fargo High School after the departure of Jay DeCann, who left to become the athletic director at Mayville State. Justin Behm was hired as the Packers' activities coordinator in July.
"So really all the pieces just fell into place for having that application and then when both schools opened up — because obviously it was West Fargo High first, I was looking at that and thinking, 'Wow, that would be a good spot, too,'" La Deaux said. "Every time we've hosted West Fargo in Grand Forks for any sort of tournament or game, I would speak very highly of them. I've never had a bad experience with one of their coaches or anything of the sort, so I knew that would be a really good place.
"So when it came down to both schools and kind of had a joint interview, my preference definitely was going to be at Horace, like I said, to build those programs and kind of start from scratch and pave our own way, I suppose. But even if it would've been West Fargo High, it just would've been a different route and a shift in perspective, but I'm really happy with where I'm at and what (Horace) offers."
The ultimate goal will be winning state championships, but La Deaux is more excited to get students involved with Hawks activities right off the bat.
"I suppose a little based off of my age, too — being a little bit younger and knowing that I can be here for 10, 15, 20 years, whatever it is or however life goes — that definitely made it more intriguing because I know I can set the groundwork, and help our coaches get to where they want to be and help our school get to where we want to be as a school," La Deaux said. "Whether that be competing for state titles as soon as possible and realistically, obviously those are probably a few years off, but that's definitely the ultimate goal every year, right? You play to win, but we also want to get as many kids involved and active in our extracurriculars as we possibly can.
"Thinking about it that way, a lot of kids maybe don't try an activity because you kind of go to the high school and you know, 'OK, these are the kids who play sports, I probably won't make the team, why even try?' At Horace, we can really build that culture that (Horace) is new to everyone. Anyone can give it a shot and we want to get as many people and kids involved as possible and as many staff members involved as possible."
La Deaux and his family will reside in Grand Forks for a couple more weeks, and one thing he won't miss is the drive up and down Interstate 29.
"I'm just really excited to be here," La Deaux said. "I officially move down in two weeks, so I won't have to drive Grand Forks to Fargo too much longer, which is going to be nice. I'm really excited about the opportunity and I'm just ready to get the sports seasons going, to be honest."