Southwest Valley Middle School

Southwest Valley Middle School, Villisca

(Villisca) -- Villisca school officials are hoping to hire a new middle school principal next month.

Earlier this month, the Villisca School Board approved the contract of Lee Haidsiak as interim middle school principal for the remainder of the school year. Haidsiak succeeds Lora Topp, who resigned from the position in late December. Speaking on KMA's "Morning Line" program Monday morning, Villisca School Superintendent Chris Fenster says he's glad to have Haidsiak on board, as he previously served as middle school principal until 2006.

"Lee came in and did a great job," said Fenster. "He started last Monday. This is his second full week now, and he's done a great job of just building relationships with kids, and his staff, and just getting out in the classrooms, and just making himself known, so people know who he is when he's walking around. He's very consistent with people. He's a very caring person, very detail-oriented. So, it's been nice to have Lee back here as our interim middle school principal right now."

With Haidsiak in place for the rest of the year, Fenster says the search for a permanent administrator is underway. Fenster says the opening was recently posted on Teach Iowa--a major education job opening clearing house in the state.

"So far, we have about six or seven external candidates, and two internal candidates for our position," he said. "We'll look for about two more weeks, or about another week or two. I will pull all the applications. Hopefully, the first week of February, we'll start interviewing for it. At the February board meeting, we'll start interviewing someone for next year."

You can hear the full interview with Chris Fenster on our "Morning Line" page at