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Helmut Schmidt, Published March 11 2013

West Fargo assistant superintendent Dardis resigns

WEST FARGO – Louise Dardis, a 34-year West Fargo School District stalwart who rose from teacher to longtime assistant superintendent, has resigned.

Dardis’ resignation is effective April 5.

“It’s like a dark curtain fell,” board President Kay Kiefer said, before the board voted 6-0 to accept the resignation.

Ironically, Dardis’ resignation came as the board approved a new policy for replacement of the superintendent, which placed Dardis at the top of the list to run the district in that event.

“I’ve had a wonderful run here,” said Dardis, who said she wanted more control over her work hours. “I’d love to have a lot more family time.”

“It’s going to be sad to see you go,” board member Karen Nitzkorski said. “She’s always been a class act through some not-so-classy times.”

“You’ll be a tough act to follow,” board member Dave Olson added.

Dardis sent an email to school district staff after Monday night’s board meeting.

“I am stepping back to have more time and flexibility to spend with family. I will be working part time in an educational capacity with information to be released soon,” Dardis wrote.

“Submitting my resignation is bittersweet. I have relished working in WFPS (West Fargo Public Schools) district for 34 years as a teacher, teacher-principal, principal and assistant superintendent.

“I have worked collaboratively with many teachers over the years with the goal of providing the best education for our students. WFPS is very fortunate to have high-quality teachers and support staff that care and support students as they develop intellectually, socially, and emotionally.

“It has been most gratifying to watch as the staff, students, and district grew and flourished through these years of service through collective efforts. The journey continues, and it remains in great hands.

“I delight in being part of the WFPS history. I respect each of you and relish our professional relationships and friendships. I wish each of you, as well as the collective school district team, best wishes for continued success of the West Fargo Public Schools,” Dardis wrote.

Nitzkorski noted that Dardis twice applied to be superintendent, yet persevered despite others being picked for the top post.

“I’m sure she could have gone to another district,” Nitzkorski said.

“I feel very privileged to have worked here,” Dardis told the board. “I say that with great pride.”

Readers can reach Forum reporter Helmut Schmidt at (701) 241-5583