New Meade superintendent plans to build on district’s strengths

Wayne Wormstadt, Superintendent, Meade School District. Courtesy photo

STURGIS — Meade School District’s new superintendent says he looks forward to hearing from the district’s patrons concerning the school district’s future.

On Monday, the Meade School Board approved the superintendent contract of Wayne Wormstadt of Windom, Minn. The board announced Thursday, that after three days of interviews involving three candidates, they offered the superintendent contract to Wormstadt who then verbally accepted the position.

The action Monday made the hiring official.

Meade School Board President Joe Urbaniak said that during the superintendent interviews Wormstadt offered a plan for the district moving forward.

“It was unexpected to have a candidate take an outside snapshot of the district, then present a plan that he believed we should follow going forward,” Urbaniak said.

Wormstadt said that first and foremost, his plan is about listening and learning. Then, the district could use that information from staff, students, the community and the school board to focus on a strategic plan celebrating what the school district does well and improve in needed areas.

“I wouldn’t say it’s a full written plan as much as it’s about planning around what we learn from our district and where we can get better. It’s very strategic in how we are going to make steps forward,” he said.

Wormstadt, a native South Dakotan, said his resignation will take effect June 30, which is the final day of the fiscal year for the Windom School District. He will begin his duties in the Meade School District on July 1.

“Windom’s a great place and I want to see them be successful, so I want to make sure we have a great transition moving forward,” he said.

Wormstadt said he does plan to make time to visit the Meade School district before June and possibly attend a school board meeting in the spring.

Wormstadt grew up on a farm near Artesian which is north of Mitchell along Highway 34. He attended high school there.

“I was the last of the Artesian Rams before they consolidated as Artesian-Letcher,” he said.

Wormstadt attended and graduated from Northern State University in Aberdeen in 1996 with a bachelor’s degree in education. He also earned his Master of Science in education from NSU in 2002. Wormstadt earned a Specialist in Education Leadership degree with an emphasis of superintendent from the University of Sioux Falls in 2006.

He taught social science classes and physical education in the Cresbard School District from 1997 to 2001. He also served as athletic director at that time.

Then, from 2001 to 2004, Wormstadt was middle school and high school principal at Timber Lake School District. He served as superintendent of the Canistota School District from 2004 to 2008.

Wormstadt has served as superintendent of the Windom School District since 2008 where he has managed a 27% growth in student population from 2008 to 2022.

Wormstadt said he applied for the Meade School District position because he was looking to further his career and get back to South Dakota and the Black Hills in particular. Meade had the mix of a growing district which also encompassed rural areas for which Wormstadt was looking.

“It checked all the boxes for me,” Wormstadt said of the Meade School District superintendent position.

Coming to the expansive Meade School District, which encompasses 3,100 square miles, is a unique situation, Wormstadt said.

“The district operates to serve all the kids regardless of their location whether it’s down the I-90 corridor, in Whitewood, Sturgis or in the rural areas from Union Center to White Owl to Hereford,” he said.

Wormstadt’s contract is for three years. The salary in year one is $170,000. Year two is $174,000, and year three is $178,000.

Wormstadt and his wife, Becki, have three children. Their oldest son, Zach and his fiancé, Sami Bartelt, are to be married in March. Daughter Jadyn is a first-year college student at Wisconsin-LaCrosse. And their son, Teigen, is a high school freshman.

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