May 28, 2015 at 12:56 p.m.
The position had recently been revised to half time and the district was in a transition period under four day school weeks, which altered practice schedules.
Through the difficulties, Carlson managed the programs well and ushered in a few positive changes to the activites in North Branch. He brought stability to a department that had three different directors in a two-year span.
But now, Carlson is heading out the door, as the 37-year-old has accepted the Activities Director position at Lakeville North.
Carlson came to North Branch by way of White Bear Lake, where he was a social studies teacher and an assistant coach on the football, basketball and baseball teams.
At North Branch, Carlson began as the Activities Coordinator half time and a Behavioral Specialist.
Over time, however, he took on the role as Community Education Director, also a half time role, upon Jeanne Leland’s retirement.
His departure leaves a big hole for North Branch to fill. Carlson is also bittersweet about his move.
“I will miss the people I get to work with on a daily basis the most,” he said. “The district and community are filled with so many wonderful people who work so hard to give students the best experiences possible.”
He said, “I have had many wonderful experiences during my time at North Branch.”
Carlson helped rebuild programs that had been lost in previous cuts and helped grow programs adversely affected over the years by budget cuts. Among these were middle school sports programs and a cheerleading club sport. “I hope my mark left behind, is that we added programs for students. We were able to add back some programs that were cut in previous years while being able to create new programming,” he said.
Carlson, who is married with two daughters and currently resides in Hugo, said he will be looking to move to Lakeville soon. The Panthers are a presitgious program among the state’s elite. Since 2010, they have state titles in sports like volleyball, boys and girls basketball, cheerleading and they added their first boys hockey championship banner this year.
The search for Carlson’s replacement is in the works. The position was posted and is closed now. The district is interviewing. Carlson said his contract is up first of July and he’d like to be able to work with the replacement a little before he departs.