West Fargo Public Schools tap Logan Midthun as first district-wide AD
Midthun had previously served as the dean of students and activities director at Horace High School since its opening in 2021
WEST FARGO — More than three weeks after it voted to add a district-wide activities director position, West Fargo Public Schools has made a hire.
Logan Midthun will assume the new role Friday, the school district announced Wednesday morning. Midthun previously served as the dean of students and activities director at Horace High School, which opened in 2021.
Thanks Calvin! I was lucky to have some great teachers/coaches in high school.— Horace Hawks (@HoraceHawksAD) June 29, 2022
The Packers, Mustangs, and Hawks have so many great things happening in their buildings with athletics/activities…I’m excited to be a part of all of it! https://t.co/4cJWBjAFxW
The West Fargo School Board voted to add the position as part of a staffing request at a special meeting held June 6, citing continued growth in North Dakota's second-largest school district among other talking points.
“Our entire community values student engagement, whether that is through fine arts, cocurricular clubs, or athletics,” district superintendent Beth Slette stated in a news release. “I am proud of our Board for seeing the addition of this position as the next step in our journey of providing equitable engagement opportunities for all learners.”
Midthun said when the job was initially posted by the school district, it was an opportunity he couldn't resist.
"I think this is a pretty unique opportunity that I felt was too good to pass up," Midthun said. "There's not many district AD positions that become open — there's really only three or four in the entire state — and so I feel like this is a chance for me to have an impact at a bigger-picture level with athletics and activities in our district.
"Looking at long-term facilities and looking at what kind of programs we're offering and things like that — this was just a really exciting opportunity to have the time to dive deep into these things while our building ADs are still working on those on-the-ground things with their own programs."
Midthun added that while he'll continue to work with Horace in some capacity, it's a bittersweet feeling to leave the school at the building level after playing a major role in getting school activities off the ground in its first year.
"When this position opened at Horace High School last year, I was really excited about it because it is a pretty unique opportunity, as well, to start a brand new high school with brand new programs," he said. "And it's been a really fun year. It's certainly been challenging, but we have so many great coaches down here that have just embraced a lot of change and challenges along the way that they've been really fun to work with.
"I texted every head coach before I applied to let them know I was applying for this job, and I told them that I love working here, I love working with all of (them) and that if I get this (position), it would just be in a different capacity."
Prior to his roles at Horace, Midthun had served in AD and physical education roles with Big Lake (Minn.) Public Schools, Williston (N.D.) Public Schools and Killdeer (N.D.) Public Schools. He earned his bachelor's degree in health and physical education with a coaching minor from Valley City State University before getting his master's in educational leadership from Minnesota State Moorhead.
“Mr. Midthun’s professional experiences as a teacher, coach and activities director across districts of varying sizes and demographics make him well-equipped to help WFPS fine-tune not only this position, but the future of activities for all learners at all schools in our district," secondary assistant superintendent Vincent Williams stated in the news release. "Whether it’s carrying on the traditions at Sheyenne and West Fargo High Schools or helping to create those traditions at Horace High School, I am confident in Logan’s excitement for the challenge.”
As part of the June 6 decision, the building-level ADs at the district's three high schools will remain in place pending a continued study over the next school year. Neighboring Fargo Public Schools operates under a similar system, with one district-wide AD and three building-level ADs across its three high schools.
"We've certainly seen it work in a lot of districts," Midthun said. "Fargo, Bismarck and things like that. Obviously, I'm a believer in it and that's why I applied for this position. But I would say that we still need to make sure that our activities coordinators in each of our buildings have the autonomy to make the day-to-day decisions that they need to make on the fly. So many things in athletics and activities have to happen quickly — whether that's rescheduling, getting buses, doing all of those things, working with their coaches — they still need to be able to do that.
"I think — this brand new position for us — is kind of going to be a working job description. I feel lucky that I'm the first one in this role, so I can kind of help mold what this district AD job is going to look like. I'm going to obviously try to be as present as I can in the buildings helping support our activities coordinators and all of our coaches to make sure we're giving good experiences for kids, but there still needs to be a lot of stuff done that the building activities coordinators are going to have to do."
Midthun finished by saying he's excited to serve in a larger capacity with all three high schools.
"I'm really excited for this new role," he said. "I'm not looking to come in here to reinvent the wheel by any means. There's so many great things already happening at all three schools. West Fargo High's got a ton of tradition, Sheyenne obviously just had a dominant year in a lot of things, and Horace — I feel like we're doing so many great things down here, as well."
The West Fargo school district said the search for Midthun's replacement at Horace will begin immediately.