- Associated Press - Sunday, July 31, 2016

WILLISTON, N.D. (AP) - The new superintendent of the Williston Public School District has stepped into his job amid challenges, including budget issues amid the slowdown in the energy sector.

Superintendent Michael Campbell began his position in Williston July 1 and has been assessing improvements within the district in his first month, the Williston Herald (https://bit.ly/2aEC8O9) reported. His first goal is to begin restructuring the budget to avoid the district’s reliance on oil grants.

He was briefed about Energy Development Impact Grants and ND Surplus Properties at a school board meeting Thursday.

“The unobligated fund balance is 8 percent, and that concerns me,” Campbell said. “I’d like to see 25 percent or better. Schools that are affected by oil, you need to have an unobligated fund balance.”

Campbell said he had been determined to avoid the western side of North Dakota until he became antsy for a new challenge.



He was previously superintendent of Sargent Central School District in southeast North Dakota, where he inherited a district plagued with deficit spending. After four years of tacking the problem, the district was free of its financial troubles.

“I feel very confident in my financial abilities,” Campbell said. “One of those being, I don’t like to build a budget on uncertainty. I prefer to base it on knowns.”

Another task on Campbell’s to-do list is to search for a new athletic director for the upcoming school year and improve graduation rates.

“We need to make improvements for student success,” he said.

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Information from: Williston Herald, https://www.willistonherald.com

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