East Helena school board selects principal Rispens as next superintendent

Dan Rispens
Posted at 7:38 PM, Feb 24, 2021
and last updated 2021-02-24 21:38:00-05

EAST HELENA — The East Helena school board has chosen their next superintendent – a longtime district administrator.

Trustees voted unanimously Wednesday to offer the superintendent job to Dan Rispens, the current principal of East Valley Middle School and East Helena High School. They will now begin negotiating a contract with him.

Board members said Rispens had all the needed qualifications for the job and that he would offer consistency and a strong commitment to the district and its students.

Rispens joined the East Helena School District about 20 years ago and became middle school principal soon after. When the district launched its high school in 2019, he took over responsibility for it as well.

During Wednesday’s board meeting, Rispens said he was happy with his current job, but he was grateful for the opportunity to serve as superintendent.

“Ever since I’ve come to work here, I’ve felt incredibly blessed,” he said.

Rispens will take over for longtime superintendent Ron Whitmoyer, who announced he will retire at the end of July.

Board chair Scott Walter told MTN that trustees decided earlier this month to start by looking at internal candidates for the superintendent job. He said Rispens clearly fit what they were looking for.

Trustees said Wednesday that they have heard from some people who thought they should have expanded the search beyond the district, but that many more have been supportive of Rispens.