Not long before construction started on the Hancock School District's $7.8 million school addition, the district received a resignation from a teacher in one of the addition's key pieces.
Industrial arts teacher Scott Thompson resigned to take a similar position in his home district of Benson.
"He was an integral part of what we are doing...," superintendent Loren Hacker said.
The school board accepted Thompson's resignation at the May 20 meeting.
Part of the school district's vision is to enhance the course offerings and student experiences in industrial arts. The new addition will have an upgraded industrial arts and agriculture section that school officials said will teach students skills they can use in the workforce after graduation and in education beyond high school.
Thompson has been at Hancock for at least three years and was expected to be part of the new addition.
In an interview on May 22, Thompson said he will return to Hancock during the next school year to help set up the shop.
"I helped plan it and I want to see it through," Thompson said.
Thompson said it was a difficult decision to leave Hancock but taking the Benson job was the right fit for him and his family. He and his wife have two pre-school age children.
"I'm close to my kids, the school...and we are building on property east of Benson," Thompson said.
The Benson School District has three large shops and he will be teaching with one of his close friends, Thompson said.
He appreciated the atmosphere at Hancock, "It's second to none," Thompson said.
It's not easy for a school district to secure the right fit in industrial arts, Hacker and Thompson said.
The school district has chosen to wait one year to fill Thompson's position, Hacker said.
"We will work hard to get a qualified candidate next spring," Hacker said. The new shop area should attract candidates, Hacker said.
Hacker said existing staff is willing to take on as much of Thompson's classes as possible for the 2019-2020 school year.
Thompson will continue as the Hancock track coach next year, he said, because he wants to help continue to build the program.