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Youth minister, self-professed ‘sports buff’ hired as new Activities Director/Student Success Coordinator

The Perham-Dent School Board recently approved the hiring of Erin Anderson to be the district’s new Activities Director/Student Success Coordinator, replacing the retiring Fred Sailer.

Anderson was a youth director for Perham’s Calvary Lutheran Church until 2008, when he was asked to join the Synod staff and work administratively, he explained in a phone interview.

Over the past three years, Anderson has been the executive director at Pathways, an outdoor ministry association.

“The last five years have really honed my administrative side of things,” he said.

As far as athletics are concerned, Anderson “grew up a sports buff, grew up a music buff,” and “was very involved with arts and athletics growing up,” he said.

In Perham, he coached multiple levels in the school’s basketball program and coached junior high volleyball with his wife.

In his role as activities director, Anderson says he envisions himself “working along with the coaches and advisors and their programs and making sure that we’re trying to get students involved as much as possible. We’re always seeking excellence in those programs, and we’re not just defining that by wins and losses.”

Anderson said his role as student success coordinator is still being defined, but that “one of the aspects will be having the opportunity to get one-on-one with students in a way that, for example, gets out ahead of potential issues in their lives, or maybe deals with some issues that are existing.”

Ultimately, he said, “we want these kids to succeed after school – after they’re done here. We want them to look back on their time here and think that the team that was in place, the staffing model that was in place, made a difference for them.”

“I think what Erin brings to the table is just a well-rounded set of skills,” said Perham-Dent Superintendent Mitch Anderson. “He obviously has some experience working with kids and has a great reputation in that area. We really feel strongly that his background and his experience brings a lot to the table. I have yet to find a person in town who has a bad thing to say about Erin Anderson.”

Anderson will officially start his new job in the 2013-14 school year, and is currently finishing his final days at his position at Pathways.