New West Fargo Sheyenne AD James Moe outlines participation, sense of community as key goals for school

Moe has more than 14 years of experience in public education and begins his new role as West Fargo Sheyenne's activities director on July 1

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James Moe has been named the next activities coordinator at West Fargo Sheyenne High School.
West Fargo Public Schools

WEST FARGO — James Moe has worn many hats in the public education sector over the last 14 years.

Previously a longtime soccer coach at West Fargo and most recently an assistant principal with Fargo Public Schools, Moe will adds activities director to his resume.

Moe accepted the AD position at West Fargo Sheyenne two weeks ago. He'll assume his new role July 1 after most recently serving as an assistant principal at Lewis and Clark Elementary in the Fargo school district.

Why the change? Moe said he was ready for a new challenge.

"I knew there was an opening and it was something that I had considered in the past," Moe said. "It's kind of one of those leadership and administrative roles. I've coached for 15 years, so that aspects of sports, student engagement and extracurricular like fine arts and music — it was appealing."

Former West Fargo head boys and girls soccer coach James Moe gets ready for a practice session in 2017. Forum file photo

Switching gigs and school districts also made sense for Moe.

"We recently bought a house about a year ago and it's in the Sheyenne feeder system, so it just made sense to look at this as a new challenge and a new opportunity," Moe said. "And continue to be apart of the community where my kids are involved. It was very appealing."

Moe takes over for Cory Herrmann, who stepped down in February. Herrmann was at the helm for Sheyenne's state titles in football, baseball, volleyball, boys golf, girls swimming and diving, student congress and several individual championships. He was also credited with his involvement in improvement projects to school facilities.

"I don't know Cory super well, but I've heard a lot of great things about him as far as from the coaches and stuff like that," Moe said. "Hopefully, the goal is just to continue kind of what other people have built here. Greg Limke before (Herrmann), Ross Richards to start when Sheyenne first opened up — kind of just build off of everyone's successes and then create my own successes, as well. Trying to help take Sheyenne to the next level in all areas of coaching support, student support and community support as well."

Moe said working to increase participation in extracurricular activities will be among his top priorities. It's an issue high schools across the U.S. have faced in recent years, with a National Federation of State High School Associations survey showing that participation in high school athletics dropped 4% from 2018-19 to 2021-222.

Although fine arts activities saw a drop in participation during the COVID-19 pandemic, the NFHS stated that those numbers are beginning to return to pre-pandemic levels.

"For part of the interview process, we talked about what my goals are," Moe said. "And I think goals for me are to get more students involved. More students to stick with the (activity) they choose.

"When I talk about coaching success, as a former coach, it wasn't the wins and losses. It was getting kids to come back to the program that I was a part of. So I think the goal for all of the activities at Sheyenne is to get kids to return year after year and continue to build numbers and get as many kids involved in activities as possible."


The Mustangs take to the field for the first football game played at West Fargo Sheyenne High School on Friday, Aug. 28, 2015. Michael Vosburg / Forum Photo Editor

Moe said students who participate in athletics and fine arts are likely to be set up for success.

"Community involvement, a place of belonging, that's a tell-tale sign of student success," Moe said. "When kids feel a part of something, they're more apt to do better academically and socially. That's what we want — those academic gains and social gains. We want to see success in the classroom, but outside the classroom as well."

A mustang statue is pictured at West Fargo Sheyenne High School.
Michael Vosburg/The Forum

Moe said he working with some familiar faces and attending events on a daily basis will make the job enjoyable.

"I look forward to the shows, the music recitals, the theater plays and those evenings where everyone gathers. Friday night lights with the football program or a packed volleyball game or basketball game. When the community comes together and everyone is cheering for the same thing, wanting to see the success of the kids at Sheyenne, I think that's what I'm most excited about and being a part of that."

Ryan Spitza joined The Forum in December 2021 as a sports reporter. He grew up in Marquette, Mich., a city of 20,000 on the southern shore of Lake Superior. He majored in multimedia journalism and minored in public relations at Northern Michigan University, graduating with a Bachelor of Science in May 2019. While attending college, Spitza gained real-world experience covering high school and college athletics for both The Mining Journal and The North Wind.

Spitza can be reached at 701-451-5613 or Follow him on Twitter @ryspitza.
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