New Galva school chief settles in

Doug Boock
Dr. James Minick stands outside the School District 224 Administrative Office, where he began his duties as new superintendent of Galva schools last week.

Dr. James Minick believes that educating kids requires a very basic though challenging ? approach.

“My philosophy is very simple. I say it over and over and over: every child has a right to learn something new every day,” Minick explained. “That sounds very simple, but it’s very difficult to do.”

But educating kids is what Minick likes to do. And beginning July 1, he’s doing it in Galva School District. He’s the new superintendent of Galva schools.

“I’m looking forward to it,” Minick said July 2 as he took a break while setting up his office at the District 224 administration building. “I’m really looking forward to meeting the people and the kids. Hopefully, they’re reading over the summer and the library’s packed with kids. I’m looking forward to the fall.”

Minick, 59, replaces Jim Hochstatter, who retired in June after five years at the District 224 helm. A 35-year veteran in education, Minick comes to Galva from Carbon Cliff-Barstow School District 36 in the Quad-Cities, where he served as superintendent for five years. That seat will be filled by Andy Richmond, former ROWVA High School principal.

“It’s exciting,” Minick said of education. “I tell all new teachers they have the most exciting job in the world because when you see kids go “Oh!” (after learning something) ? that’s most exciting.

“Everybody wants to learn something,” he added. “It might be difficult to find what that is, but that’s part of the challenge.”

Minick’s resume indicates he may know how to clear that hurdle. He spent 16 years as curriculum director in Canton School District, and was assistant principal for curriculum at Dubuque (Iowa) Wahlert High School, along with several years as an administrator in other school districts.

“That’s my strength ?- knowing what it takes to be successful in the classroom,” said Minick, who holds degrees in Biology from University of Iowa and in Educational Administration from the University of Northern Iowa. “The curriculum and instruction is where it’s at. If we don’t do a good job there, we might as well shut our doors. There’s no other reason to be there (in school).”