Charles City Community Schools will have a new leader of leaders as Thomas Harskamp is named the Executive Director of Student Engagement and Leadership pending school board approval. This new position replaces the activity director position and is the first step in building a more robust activity department and engaging all students in leadership opportunities.
Harskamp is currently a co-principal at Charles City Middle School. He's been in a leadership role with Charles City Community Schools since the summer of 2018. Harskamp will officially begin his new duties on July 1, and he is already actively involved with several aspects of the position. He is assisting with the search for a new varsity football coach and leading professional development of all district coaches.
Harskamp's background is diverse. While in high school, he participated in basketball, track, baseball, and football. Along with his athletic activities, he played trumpet in the band and performed in musicals, plays and competed in readers theater and group improve in speech. He has experience in leadership roles as dean of students at Marrs Middle School in Omaha, NE, as well as coaching football, basketball, track, and cross country.
"I'm nervously excited about the challenge ahead," says Harskamp. "We have great members of the Charles City Community Schools family who do a lot of outstanding things for students. We want to unify our mission and vision of the school in our activities, and our motto moving forward will be to 'build better people,' and there are many ways we can do this."
Harskamp will be working with the new Associate Activities Director, Moriah Mitchell, who started in January. Mitchell graduated from Charles City High School in 2011 and continued her education at NIACC and the University of Northern Iowa, where she earned a degree in sports psychology. In her new position, Mitchell's roles include organizing and setting up extracurricular activities, informing non-conference teams on rules and policies, and creating new schedules for the following year.
Harskamp's top goal for the new position is to get more students involved. He also wants to increase our student engagement participation, including choir, band and orchestra, athletics, and student-based clubs. He will encourage more students to become multi-sport athletes while participating in performing arts as well. Harskamp is hoping to set an example for younger students and inspire them to achieve higher.
“We are unbelievably excited and energized about Tom Harskamp taking on this new role as our executive director,” says Mike Fisher. “This new role will provide strategic and visionary leadership towards all of our activities and everything around student engagement in our school family. We are excited about the energy, passion, and competence he’s going to bring. We are looking forward to the bright future for our students and coaches.”
Harskamp graduated from Sioux Center Community Schools and Buena Vista University, with a degree in elementary education and a minor in coaching, he also has a master's degree in educational leadership from Wayne State College. Harskamp is married to his wife Dana, who is an elementary principal at Wapsie Valley Community School District. Together they have two children, Asher 5-years-old and Henley 3-years-old.