NEWELL — The Newell School District has hired Doug South as the new PreK-12 principal.
South, presently of Kenmare, N.D., grew up in southern California and received a bachelor’s degree in physical education from California State University at Los Angeles and a master’s degree in education from the University of Idaho. From there, he began a long career in sports management.
“It’s going to be a new challenge for me,” said South. “Being a principal is going to be a good opportunity for me and a new challenge. I’m looking forward to it.”
Though this is South’s first position as principal, he is no stranger to management, school administration, or working with young people.
South has been a football coach at various levels, taught weight training, been an athletic director, and held many other management positions in his 30 years in the sports management field. For three years, South was a vice principal at a junior high school in Idaho with an enrollment of 450 students, which is where he learned the ins and outs of school administrative work.
In 2017, South switched gears and went into ministry. His ministry program led him to a position in the coaching education program at Trinity Bible College in Ellendale, N.D., where he was also the defensive coordinator for the football team. For the past year, South has been engaged in a church internship in Kenmare as part of his ministry program and has been a guest minister, filling in at many churches throughout North Dakota and South Dakota. He plans to keep guest ministering when he makes the move to Newell.
“I’m an educator, that’s what I do first, but I also enjoy being a minister,” said South. “But I understand the separation between the two.”
South gained a certain perspective in his years in sports management and school administration that he plans on applying to his position as principal.
“I understand academics is very important in a school setting, and we’ll obviously spend time on that, but what is also important, I think, is developing people. Helping out the teachers and supporting them and developing young people that are going to join the community, and that to me is as important as the academic end of it. … I think always having a good attitude, a positive attitude is what you need to display every day and supporting people in all the areas they need … and that’s what my plan is.”
In his years as a football coach, South had taken over several football programs. His philosophy when taking over a program was always to keep what works and work on what doesn’t. This attitude is what South plans to bring to the table as Newell principal.
“I’m going to go over there in July and the things that are going well we’re going to continue doing those things, and the things that need improvement we’ll discuss as group what we need to get better at,” said South.
South begins his new position as Newell principal July 1.
South will replace Jennifer Nehl who announced her resignation in January to be effective at the end of the school year. She served as principal for three years.
Nehl said she will pursue an opportunity in the training field. She will be training and coaching schools in professional development from a home-based location.
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