Detroit Lakes High School Principal Darren Wolf will be leaving his post at the end of this school year, and the search is on for a replacement.

Wolf, who has held the position for the past seven years, was granted an extended leave of absence by the school board at its December meeting, and told the Tribune this week that he does not anticipate returning.

“I’m going to take some time off and try to decide what I want to do next,” he said. “I’m really thankful to the district and to the people here for letting me be part of the district and community for the past seven years. It’s been a great learning experience for me. I wish them nothing but the best. My comment to the staff is, ‘I hope your sails are always full.’”

Darren Wolf
Darren Wolf

Wolf was hired by the school district in 2014 and moved with his family to Detroit Lakes from Elk River, Minn., where he had been serving as an assistant high school principal. He’s worked in education for over 30 years.

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Wolf said he’s leaving DLHS for a mix of reasons, some personal and some related to the challenges in education brought on by the pandemic. While “the staff has responded greatly” to those challenges, he said, “All of this has given me reason to take stock and step back and do some soul searching.”

He’ll finish up the school year, he said, and will help the district with the transition in any way he can: “And then we’ll see what the future holds.”

The district posted an online job listing for the principalship on Jan 25, with applications accepted through Wednesday, Feb. 17.

Superintendent Mark Jenson said the school board is hoping to meet candidates at their March 15 board meeting, and to have a new principal hired and ready to start by July 1, in plenty of time for next school year.

According to the job listing, the ideal candidate will be a licensed, experienced school administrator who has “demonstrated visionary and progressive educational leadership” and is a self-motivated, student-centered, positive leader with strong team-building and personnel management skills, among other attributes.