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KMS' Coquyt accepts Morris Area offer for principal's job

By Tom Larson

Sun Tribune

Mike Coquyt, principal and athletic director at Kerkhoven-Murdock-Sunburg schools, is expected to be hired at Morris Area High School principal.

Morris Area Superintendent Scott Monson said Friday that Coquyt has been offered and accepted the position.

Coquyt said he will meet with the KMS school board on Monday to submit his resignation and request to be release from his current contract.

Until more details are worked out, a starting date for his new job in Morris has not been set, he said.

"This is an opportunity to work in a larger school district," said Coquyt, who worked in the KMS district while he and his family lived in the Willmar district. "I love doing what I do, but the (Morris) community played into the decision. We want our kids in the same school district where I work and Morris is the perfect opportunity. It's a great opportunity for us to be on the same page."

Coquyt, 42, is from Milroy. His experience in education includes six years teaching in Marshall, holding the principals job in Tracy-Milroy, and five years as principal at KMS.

Coquyt and his wife, Brenda, have four children: Zach, 17, Nick, 11, Jason, 9, and Abigail, 4.

Monson said Coquyt's experience working in smaller school districts was one of the positive factors in his hiring.

Budget cuts recently forced the Morris Area School Board to cut a full-time counselor position. Those duties and others, such as testing coordinator, likely will fall to the high school principal. Coquyt has assumed those roles in the past, Monson said.

"It was a combination of a lot of things," Monson said. "The initiatives he facilitated at KMS, and definitely a focus on students."

Monson said the 12-person hiring panel this week interviewed "a great pool of candidates," with the six finalists chosen from a group of 31 applicants.

The position opened when former MAHS Principal Steve Wolf submitted his resignation in July to pursue a new job in Colorado.

Wolf worked as a half-time principal and taught science last school year.

While Wolf was a half-time principal last year, his position had been restored to full-time during district budget discussions this spring.

Coquyt is expected to be in Morris late next week to begin the transition from KMS to Morris.