STATE CENTER - Nicole Kooiker has been named the next superintendent of the West Marshall School District in a move made by the school board during a special meeting Wednesday night.
Kooiker, 38, is the current sixth grade principal in the Southeast Polk School District and will take over at West Marshall July 1.
She also is a former assistant principal at Southeast Polk and a former principal at West Hancock.
Kooiker said the strong student test scores, longevity of administrative staff, financial stability and support for the school in the community drew her to West Marshall.
"It's a strong, small town community that's very supportive of the school system," Kooiker said.
School Board President Lisa Breja said Kooiker is a proven educational leader who will focus on student achievement and making connections in the community.
"We really feel that she's the right fit for our school district and our community," Breja said. "We're excited to have her begin."
Kooiker's new contract was not yet official Wednesday night, but the minimum annual salary is expected to be $125,000. Kooiker is replacing the retiring Ned Sellers, who has served as superintendent at West Marshall since 1998.
She already plans to be in contact plenty of times with Sellers to learn more about the district before she begins.
"I'll definitely be working with him to make this as smooth of a transition as possible," Kooiker said.
Kooiker (pronounced KWAY-KER) is a native of George in northwestern Iowa and currently lives in Pleasant Hill.
Other candidates interviewed for the job were Jacy Large, principal of Miller Miller School in Marshalltown, Ken Howard, superintendent of Remsen-Union School District, and Brian Coppess, associate principal at Urbandale High School.
Howard and Kooiker were the final two candidates and were discussed by the board during a 70-minute closed session Wednesday night.