Siemsen expected to take role of Mitchell High School principal

Mitchell Board of Education to consider approving hire April 24

Mitchell High School
Mitchell High School
Mitchell Republic File Photo

MITCHELL — The Mitchell School District has its sights set on a new principal for Mitchell High School.

The district announced Friday afternoon that Justin Siemsen, who currently serves as both high school principal and superintendent for the Sanborn Central School District, had verbally agreed to assume the role of high school principal at Mitchell.

“I am glad to welcome Mr. Siemsen to the Mitchell School District where I know that he will continue the invaluable work of improving our school by delivering a quality education for our students,” Joe Childs, interim superintendent for the Mitchell School District, said in a statement. “The Mitchell High School community is eager to work with Mr. Siemsen, and we look forward to a bright future with his leadership.”

Siemsen brings over 21 years of experience to Mitchell High School. He has served in a number of roles throughout his career, including as a teacher, coach, customer support specialist and most recently as position of high school principal and superintendent at Sanborn Central, a role he has held for the past eight years.

Justin Siemsen

The release sent out by the Mitchell School District describes Siemsen as being known for his dedication and commitment to education and as a leader who understands the importance of providing a positive learning environment for students. During his tenure with the Sanborn Central School District, he was instrumental in implementing new programs and initiatives that have helped improve student achievement and engagement.


Siemsen holds a bachelor's degree from Huron University, a masters degree from Dakota Wesleyan University and a specialist degree from the University of South Dakota.

The Mitchell Board of Education will consider the hire at its next meeting, which is scheduled for Monday, April 24 in Room 110 at the Mitchell Career & Technical Education Academy. That meeting is expected to begin at 5:30 p.m.

The Mitchell School District has been on the hunt for a new high school principal ever since Childs, who has served as Mitchell High School principal since 2013, was selected by the Mitchell Board of Education to succeed Joe Graves as superintendent for the district. Graves had held the top administrator job in the district for over 20 years.

Childs was named interim superintendent in January and was officially offered the superintendent role in March. He signed a contract at the most recent meeting of the Mitchell Board of Education and will officially take over as full-time superintendent July 1.

Current high school principal, interim superintendent expected to accept offer at April meeting of the board

Craig Mock, an assistant principal at Mitchell High School, is also expected to retire at the end of the 2022-23 school year, according to the personnel moves approved at the April 10 meeting of the Mitchell Board of Education.

Erik Kaufman joined the Mitchell Republic in July of 2019 as an education and features reporter. He grew up in Freeman, S.D., graduating from Freeman High School. He graduated from the University of South Dakota in 1999 with a major in English and a minor in computer science. He can be reached at
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