There will soon be a new leader at one of South Dakota's fastest-growing high schools.
Kevin Lein, the principal who made national headlines following a school shooting, is stepping down.
After Lein was shot in the arm by a student, he was back working the next day. Many say he helped the high school get back to normal after a scary situation; however, some parents weren't happy with everything Lein was doing at the school.
For seven years, Lein has called Harrisburg High School home. Now, he's stepping down from the position to pursue a new path.
"I'm just really lucky and I couldn't be more grateful for everybody in South Dakota, and in particular this community, has just been incredible to my family and myself," Lein said.
He took a position as a regional administrator for eight different school districts near his hometown of Ames, Iowa.
Superintendent Jim Holbeck says the principal always cared about children. He credits Lein for how he handled himself after the shooting.
"For him to come back the next morning and show that it is a safe place; 'I feel safe here and the kids should feel safe there,' that was monumental," Holbeck said.
However, some weren't always happy with the principal. Lein helped implement customized learning classes known as MOD.
That was met with some resistance from parents. There is a Facebook group called "Parents for HHS Change," made up mostly of parents who were upset with the classes in Harrisburg. We reached out to the administrator of the page for comment, but didn't receive a response yet.
Holbeck says the district did not ask Lein to step down.
"This was 100 percent his decision. I'm not happy to see him go. The board never talked about having him go. They were surprised when they got the resignation last night too," Holbeck said.
Lein will stay through the rest of the school year. As he moves on, he plans on taking the knowledge he learned and apply it to the next chapter of his life.
"Yeah change is hard but if we're not moving then we're falling behind so I'm going to continue to try and use the research and data and all those things to try and convince people that there are better ways. Even though we got a system, there are better ways to do this," Lein said.
The district has offered the position to current vice principal Ryan Rollinger. Holbeck says he's confident he will accept the position.
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