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MEEKER — On the same night the Meeker School Board added a new member, it lost its superintendent.
Iris Franklin was formally appointed and sworn in as the school board’s newest member, replacing Kai Turner, at a meeting Jan. 20, while Superintendent Dan Evig gave his resignation, effective at the end of June.
Evig, former principal at Meeker High School for three years, is retiring. He has been superintendent for five years.
“We reluctantly accepted Dan’s retirement announcement,” said board President Mary Strang. “We’ll miss him. He’s an exceptional educator. He’s been committed to do what’s best for kids. His commitment is unsurpassed. He has command of the big picture.”
While sorry to see Evig leave the district, Strang welcomed Franklin, a retired teacher, to the board.
“We’re delighted to have her,” Strang said.
But Evig’s retirement will leave a void, the board president said.
“There’s no question we will sorely miss him,” Strang said. “He’s done so many wonderful things for this district.”
Strang said the board knew Evig had been contemplating retirement, but she was glad he stayed on to help see through the $24 million bond issue passed by voters in the November general election. The bond will pay for a new elementary school and improvements to the middle school and high school.
“I think we all knew it was coming,” Strang said of Evig’s departure. “It was always his call. He was very committed to getting the bond passed, because he knew it was the right thing for Meeker and for the kids. He was extremely pivotal in that process.”
Evig said the bond election was a factor in the timing of his retirement.
“It (retirement) has been on the radar for a couple of years now,” Evig said. “But I thought we could possibly get that (the bond issue) passed. Win or lose, I knew it was the right thing to do. I don’t know that I could have retired without trying to get this done. I was just thrilled it passed and we’re moving forward. I think it’s a really good thing for everyone involved.”
Strang, for one, said she will miss working with Evig.
“When you have a good working relationship, you hate to change,” she said.
Evig feels the same.
“It has been absolutely rewarding,” Evig said of his time in Meeker. “I can’t tell you how much I’ve enjoyed working with students, parents, teachers and the board. I don’t think you can find any better. I think our district is headed in a great direction and will move even more forward in the future.”
The process to find a replacement for Evig will begin immediately. But Strang said finding the right person was more critical than the timeline for filling the position.
“We didn’t set any p