Somerset Elementary principal resigns, takes new position in RF
When Somerset Elementary principal Dr. Chris Kamrath told his staff he had accepted an offer to become the next principal at Westside Elementary in River Falls, there were many shocked faces and a few tears shed.
"It was a very hard decision for me. I've loved my time in Somerset and when I came here, I fully intended to finish my career here," Kamrath said. "I really never looked to leave, but this opportunity presented itself. There are very few districts I would have thought about leaving Somerset to go to. After reflecting on it for awhile, it just kind of made sense for me for several reasons."
Among his reasons are his sister lives in Prescott and his parents may retire to the area in the future. Westside Elementary is one of four public elementary schools in the River Falls School District, in addition to St. Bridget's Catholic School, which is where Kamrath started his teaching career.
"I'm really excited about the collaboration opportunities I will have in River Falls with the two other elementary principals," Kamrath said. "I enjoy our admin team here as well as my work with the middle school principal, but having two people doing the same thing that I do will be something that I'm really looking forward to. Something can seem great in mind, but until I work with two other people who are in my same world it is hard to talk with someone who completely understands what you are going through and can help you in those situations."
The Somerset School Board approved Kamrath's resignation at its May 21 school board meeting, which was the same night the River Falls School Board approved his hiring.
"My wife and I just remember how much we like the city of River Falls. Life brought us away, but here we are again. It is a beautiful place and we are excited to be there," Kamrath said. "But I did thoroughly enjoy my time in Somerset. I loved it here and the elementary staff is an amazing staff that puts students first. They care so much about what they do and take so much pride in their work. It is truly a great place to be."
Kamrath said his children will most likely attend Somerset schools next year as the family transitions to the new school district.
"I have told all the staff that I am not dying, since it was a bit of a shock due to how quickly the process went of me being hired in River Falls and then resigning here. There were some tears in the meeting where I shared that I was leaving," Kamrath said. "I was amazed that River Falls picked me out of the 51 applicants. I'm so blessed and humbled that they picked me. I am very grateful that they selected me."
Although Kamrath will finish his time in Somerset at the end of June, what he learned as SES principal will stay with him for the rest of his career.
"I'm very blessed to have had the four years here. I feel like I'm leaving it in a good state. I'm proud of the work we have done, especially this past year when it was our first year of being a 5-star school on the state report card scale," Kamrath said. "I'm very proud of the work we've done. Over my time here, we have developed the Spartan Way behavior system that I'm really proud of and our literacy curriculum program is new and we are really proud of that selection process. We have monthly assemblies that promote good behavior. I'm very proud of the things we are doing."