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Perham hires new elementary principal

At a special meeting on July 1, the Perham-Dent school board unanimously approved the hiring of Jennifer Hendrickson as Heart of the Lakes Elementary School’s newest principal.

Hendrickson is replacing the departing Kari Yates, who has accepted a position with Moorhead Public Schools.

The language in Hendrickson’s contract is “standard,” and will be similar to that of Yates’, according to Perham-Dent School Board member Jim Rieber, who also noted that her salary will be “right on line with where (it) should be” for a starting principal.

Hendrickson started immediately in order to spend time and share notes with Yates before taking time off to have a baby, she said.

“I’ve had the opportunity to work with Kari Yates over the past week and this week.  We hope to make it kind of a smooth transition for everyone. It’s been nice to have that opportunity to be working with her,” Hendrickson said on Monday, adding that Yates is “a veteran principal, so it’s nice to talk to her and learn from her, as well.”

Hendrickson started her teaching career in Chicago after earning a bachelor’s degree from the University of Montana, a master’s degree from the College of Saint Catherine, and a leadership license from Minnesota State University in Moorhead.

Most recently, however, she taught for eight years in Detroit Lakes as a first grade teacher and instructional coach.

Hendrickson’s goals in her first year as HOTL’s principal will be to “get the pulse of the school” and of the district, she said, and “build relationships that way.”

Hendrickson has two small children who will be enrolling at HOTL in the near future, with a third child due later this month.

Overall, she said she’s “excited to be a part of this district – there’s great staff and people to work with and I’m eager to get started.”