After a year away from K-12 education, Nicole Lydick is excited for her return; the Michigan native is the new assistant principal for the Redwood Valley schools.

After a year away from K-12 education, Nicole Lydick is excited for her return. Lydick, a Michigan native, is the new assistant principal for the Redwood Valley schools, and she began that new role in mid-July. The Redwood Area Board of Education opted to change its administrative make-up this year, with one principal over both the middle school and high school programs and the assistant principal serving in collaboration with the principal. Rick Jorgenson was named principal for both sites, and the district opted to hire Lydick to complement the principal in the secondary role. As assistant principal, Lydick said she is going to be more involved with the discipline role, although other duties, such as reporting, communication and teacher evaluation are going to be a shared responsibility. “Both roles are really all inclusive,” Lydick said. Lydick began her teaching career in Michigan and spent 11 years teaching elementary students at various age levels. Then she moved into a principal role working in a K-6 program for two years. The Lydick family moved to Redwood Falls one year ago when husband, Bryan, was hired to serve as the CEO for the Redwood Area Hospital. Lydick continued in education working in a unique role for her at Southwest Minnesota State University. There she worked with college-age students who were studying for future in the field of education. While Lydick said she enjoyed that role, she felt her true calling was in K-12 education where she could be involved in the lives of younger students. Lydick said the decision to work in education was an easy one for her. “As a kid I always wanted to play school,” she said, adding when that happened she was the teacher.

There were also times, Lydick added with a smile, that she tried to be the principal, too. Having earned her education degree from Central Michigan University and later earning her administrative licensure from Grand Valley State University, Lydick said the move into administration was a natural progression. “I loved being a classroom teacher,” she said, “but I started seeing the bigger picture and felt in a leadership role I could have more of an influence on more kids.” While Lydick said education in Minnesota is a bit different than Michigan, the basic concept of doing what is best for kids is the same. “Kids are kids and they deserve to get a good education,” said Lydick. Lydick said even though school has not started several teachers have been in and out, and she is looking forward to working with them, as well as the students and their families. “I really missed this,” she said. Lydick has three children, Samantha, who is a freshman, Mackenzie, who is in the seventh grade and Brode, who is a third grader. Lydick said she and her family have very much enjoyed being part of the community, and she looks forward to being even more involved.