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Next North Platte High School principal looking forward to getting 'plugged in' to community, with staff

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North Platte High School’s next principal says his first steps toward the move will include getting “plugged in” and connecting with staff.

The North Platte Public Schools District hired Cory Spotanski to lead the high school beginning with the 2022-23 school year. He is currently the principal and activities director at Elm Creek Public Schools. Spotanski is originally from Loup City and previously served schools in Houston, Texas; Lexington; and Cozad. He has been at Elm Creek for five years.

“Our family is really excited about this next journey to North Platte,” Spotanski said. “What I’m looking forward to right now is just getting plugged in with a lot of the staff members.”

Spotanski has met with administration and with a couple of transition days scheduled in February intends to do “a lot of listening.” His objective at this point is to get to know the cultural norms that are in place and get acclimated to the community.

He and wife Michelle have three children: 21-year-old daughter Aaliyah, who is studying radiography at the University of Nebraska Medical Center; son Brady, who will graduate from Elm Creek in May; and daughter Nyla, who will be a sixth grader in the fall.

From the information provided to him, Spotanski said, he sees there is a solid staff at the high school. He said the processes and procedures that have been implemented over the last seven years with Superintendent Ron Hanson have allowed the district to move forward in different ways.

“Helping everyone grow socially, helping everyone grow emotionally, helping everyone grow academically,” Spotanski said, “those are some of the things (the district) has been focused on I’m looking forward to helping with as well.”

He identified his leadership strength as relationships.

“I’m a big believer in shared decision-making,” Spotanski said.

Data is something he enjoys. “I’m a numbers person. I really like looking at numbers and collecting data and using that to drive a lot of the decisions that are being made.”

Spotanski is looking forward to getting together with Director of Secondary Education Vikki Carlson to go over the data collected over the past several years and use it to help the staff grow professionally.

“If I can summarize, the shared decision-making, relationships are the driving force, but data is something I use to get there,” Spotanski said.

Spotanski graduated from the University of Nebraska at Kearney with his undergraduate degree in education. He also has his education administration degree from UNK and is finishing his education specialist degree through Doane University.

Some of his interests outside of work include golf, fishing and outdoor activities with his family.

“If there’s one thing I’m really looking forward to is just getting plugged into the community,” Spotanski said. “There’s so many neat initiatives going on in North Platte. I’m just excited about the growth potential in the community.”

He said there are so many opportunities for children right now.

“Just opening doors for kids,” Spotanski said, “allowing them to understand that they were born for more than they ever thought possible.”

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