TCU’s leader begins job

TCU’s new superintendent Teri Preisler began her job in the district on Monday, July 1. (Lori Nickel Photo)

The new leader for the Tri-City United School District began her position on Monday, July 1, and is excited to begin her new role.

Teri Preisler comes to the position with a lot of familiarity with small towns, farming, education communities and the area schools. She grew up on a small grain  and livestock farm near Edgeley, ND, and attended college at North Dakota State University in Fargo, ND.

She knows about consolidated school districts. Her first teaching position was as a K-12 music teacher in Norman County West School District, a consolidated school district of the communities of Halstad, Hendrum, and Perley, MN.   She and her husband, David Preisler, moved to the area in 1988 when he became the Agriculture Extension Agent for Le Sueur County. Preisler has taught music in Faribault from 1988 to 1997, after which she became an assistant principal in Faribault. She has also served as an elementary principal in the Le Sueur-Henderson School District, and later as an elementary principal in Owatonna before her recent post as the Associate Director of Instructional Technology.

David is the executive director for the Minnesota Pork Producers Association. They have two grown sons, Ethan who just  graduated from Augustana College in Sioux Falls, and  Cody, who will be a sophomore at the University of Nebraska, Lincoln.

Decision to apply to TCU

When the news that Matt Helgerson was leaving the newly-formed school district, Preisler said she knew its next leader would need to be  committed to the area’s children, staff, and communities. She said she believed her commitment, experiences, and qualities as an educator would be a good fit for the job.

“I took the decision to apply very seriously,” she said. “I knew that this school district came to be because of the strong commitment to providing opportunities for the children and students of Montgomery, Lonsdale, Le Center, and surrounding area. I knew that I possessed this level of commitment and believed that I also had the experiences and skills to create educational opportunities for children.”

 

Day 1 - what to do?

Preisler began her job on Monday, and among the many items on her “to do” list is to get to know people throughout all of the TCU communities. Two weekends ago, she got the chance to do this when she attended a TCU Booster Club fundraiser.

“It was a great event to meet people and have some fun together supporting our students,” she said. “I look forward to being involved in organizations and events throughout the communities of Tri-City United School District.”

Another important item on her list is to get up to speed on the district’s projects (construction at TCU, Lonsdale, and reroofing at Le Center, among others) and programs that have been created. She has attended several board meetings, and now officially in her role, she has begun setting up meetings with staff, business and educational leaders, and community group leaders.

Preisler had already been involved in the community long before she got the job as TCU superintendent.

“I am currently the Choir Director at St. Paul Lutheran Church. I also  directed the Community Choir for a number of years, and when we first moved to Le Center I directed the Community Band with performers from Le Center and Montgomery,” she said. “Each fall working at the Community Club at the Le Sueur County Fair is always a great way to reconnect with many wonderful people within our area. I've been involved with Booster Clubs for football, music, hockey, and baseball.”

 

The future of TCU

Now that the inaugural first year at TCU is a memory, challenges for the district remain, however Preisler views them more as opportunities.

“I look forward to continuing the work of creating an educational environment of excellence, insuring that all students are learning at high levels, and bringing our communities together as a united school district,” she said.

Preisler said she plans to continue Helgerson’s commitment to the students as she begins her job.

“Having had Mr. Helgerson as my child's Principal and eventual Superintendent, I found him to be committed to the students and held their best interest at the center of his decisions,” she said. “My dedication to the education of all children is at the forefront of all that I do and I know that each individual brings unique strengths to an organization.”

Preisler describes her management style as collaborative, while taking the time to listen and learn, “which lays a foundation for continuous improvement” she said.

Preisler’s new TCU email address is tpreisler@tcu2905.us.