New West Marshall superintendent excited to start

STATE CENTER Nicole Kooiker thinks she has stepped into a perfect situation at the right time in her career.

The 38-year-old will assume the role of superintendent of the West Marshall School District July 1.

“I’m very excited,” Kooiker said. “They are definitely on track and doing a lot of things well here.”

Kooiker (pronounced KWAY-KER) arrives in State Center from the Southeast Polk School District, where she served as sixth-grade principal. She is a native of George in northwestern Iowa and plans to make her new home somewhere in the West Marshall district.

Strategic planning is big among school leaders these days and Kooiker is no different. She said one of her focuses will be long-term planning for West Marshall.

“It’s important to keep the vision and mission out front and stick to it,” Kooiker said.

With a new middle school and other facilities that are in pretty good shape, a major building project is not on her agenda.

“Everything is in place that really needs to be,” Kooiker said.

She is also coming to a district where the three school principals have been in State Center for several years.

“I think that’s huge that they are familiar with the community and familiar with their current roles,” Kooiker said.

Kooiker said it’s important for her to be a visible leader in the district. She plans to partake in the Rose Festival this weekend and be available to the community in the future.

“That visibility piece is important,” she said.

When she’s not working, Kooiker has a love of the outdoors, including running and bike riding and she said she is “pretty high-energy.”

Kooiker will take over for the retiring Ned Sellers who has led the school district since 1998. She has already met with Sellers several times to help with the transition.

“Ned’s been an excellent resource,” Kooiker said.