Milaca hires director of student achievement

As of July 1, Milaca Public Schools has hired Amy Notch to be the director of student achievement.

Notch is originally from Cold Spring and graduated from Rocori High School. She went on to get a bachelor’s degree from the College of St. Benedict in St. Joseph and was certified to teach English in grades seven through 12. She taught for a year in Rush City and a year at Long Prairie-Grey Eagle before settling at Kimball High School. She taught there for 15 years, her last 10 years as a college composition teacher.

During her time as a teacher, she also earned her master’s degree in educational media and technology from the College of St. Scholastica, later adding an educational administration degree from St. Cloud State University, as well.

Amy Notch. Times photo by Tyler Ohmann.
Amy Notch. Times photo by Tyler Ohmann.

She said it was not easy to leave Kimball but is glad that she landed in Milaca.

“I absolutely loved Kimball, but there was not a lot of opportunity for growth in administrative positions,” Notch said. “I really wanted to try my hand at being in a leadership role in a school system, and Milaca’s director of student achievement position offered me that opportunity.”

She accepted the job after being interviewed by School Board members and leaders of the school and taking one unique tour.

“I came back on a Tuesday, and both principals (Steve Voshell and Damian Patnode) gave me a walking tour of the school, and I thought I was doing a walking interview,” Notch said. “They were actually doing a really good job of selling Milaca schools to me, and I was offered the position at the end of my tour.

“I kept waiting for more questions, and all I kept getting was great information about the community and the services the school provides,” Notch added.

Shortly after that she accepted the position.

Notch knows that there will be a lot of challenges in her new position and is looking forward to helping the school run more smoothly.

“I’m very passionate about curriculum and assessment as a classroom teacher for the last 17 years, and so it seems like a very good fit and transition into the world of administration for me,” Notch said.

As the director of student achievement, she will be helping assess student performance and testing, and figure out what direction to help the students learn in. She will also work to make sure all online testing is set up, prepare curriculum maps and upload those to the school website, work with the leadership team and look for best practice in teaching, then deliver that to teachers.

She is looking forward to meeting many people in the community as well as the students and faculty of the school.

“One of the things I loved about Kimball was connecting with the community and the people, and growing and fostering those connections is where I need to start here,” Notch said.

There is one thing she won’t miss though.

“As much as I loved teaching language arts, I’m looking forward to not sitting down every weekend and looking at essays,” Notch said with a chuckle.

Notch lives in Cold Spring currently with her husband Matt and three children, Abby (11), Grady (8) and Cooper (4).