Weather Forecast


Roosevelt principal takes over for Niklaus

There are a lot of changes coming to the administrative structure at Detroit Lakes Public Schools come July 1.

Not only will the high school be getting a new principal — Darren Wolf, most recently the assistant principal at Rogers High School in Elk River — but Roosevelt Elementary School will have a new principal as well, in Trish Mariotti, the current principal at Ogema Elementary School in the Waubun-Ogema-White Earth School District.

Roosevelt’s current principal, Renee Kerzman, will become the director of curriculum, instruction and technology — a new position that will replace that of education director, as the person currently holding that position, Lowell Niklaus, is retiring.

“They have restructured some of the duties of the position,” Kerzman said, explaining the reasons for changing the position title.

Though she is excited by the challenges posed by her new post, Kerzman is also sad to be leaving Roosevelt.

“It’s not like I was looking to leave Roosevelt — I love it here,” she says.

“But they had an opening in the district that filled my skill set, so I decided to apply,” she added.

Before coming to Roosevelt, Kerzman said, “I was the director of the teacher effectiveness grant project at Minnesota State University Moorhead… a cooperative project with North Dakota State University and Valley State University.

“I’ll be working closely with the principals of all the buildings, as well as the superintendent and teachers,” she added.

Part of her duties will include supervising and working with the district’s instructional coaches — teachers who mentor other teachers in the district and assist with their professional development.

“We’ve been doing some powerful professional development in this district, and I want to be a part of that team,” she said. “We’re really focused on student achievement through (staff) professional learning and development.”

She will also be helping teachers with developing curriculum.

“Curriculum and instruction has always been an interest of mine,” Kerzman said. “I’m looking forward to working with all the teachers and administrators across the district.”

“I will definitely miss the kids here at Roosevelt,” she added. “But I do plan to be out in the hallways and classrooms of all the schools as much as I can. I think that will make me better at my job.”

Kerzman and her husband have been Detroit Lakes residents since 2000, and all of her children have gone to school in the district (the oldest has graduated and is attending college at Concordia this fall).

“We’re Lakers all the way,” she said. “I’m proud of what we’re doing here. This is a very supportive community and school district.

“It’s great to look around and see how much this community supports and values our schools.”

Follow Detroit Lakes Newspapers reporter Vicki Gerdes on Twitter at @VickiLGerdes.

Vicki Gerdes

Staff writer at Detroit Lakes Newspapers for the past 16 years, currently editor of the entertainment and community pages as well as covering city council and the Lake Park-Audubon School Board. Living in DL with my cat, Smokey.

(218) 844-1454