After the election in April, a one-year position was left open on the Dakota Valley School Board so they opened up the position to letters of interest. At their May 10 meeting, the board reviewed the two letters they received. They appointed Andrew Nilges to the board. He will take office at the July meeting.
Nilges was interested in the open position for a couple different reasons. The first being the school district and Dakota Valley’s staff, another helping students find more opportunities.
“It is a great organization,” Nilges said. “I see what they do to make our communities, North Sioux City, Dakota Dunes, the surrounding areas, such a special place. I wanted to be a part of that. I wanted to be involved and to give back to the community.”
Nilges grew up in Sioux City and lived in Riv-R-Land and Dakota Dunes prior to moving to North Sioux City. He earned his bachelor’s degree in history and sociology from the University of Northern Iowa in 2009 and his master’s degree in public administration from the University of South Dakota in 2011. Prior to accepting the Executive Director position with the NSCEDC, he worked over five years at USD partnering with business, industry, government and school districts on customizing education programs.
He was hired as the North Sioux City Economic Development Corporation’s Executive Director in 2017. He hopes to use his knowledge of economic development to Dakota Valley’s advantage.
“I’m hoping to use some of my abilities in my background to contribute to the school district,” Nilges said. “I think there’s an opportunity to work more closely and expose students to opportunities that are right here in their backyard that they might not know about. Whether it’s the business community, places to live or things to do, I just want to make opportunities more available to them as well as support the business community. Obviously, there’s a workforce shortage in the area. So, hopefully, some stronger connections can be made so these companies can reach out to the students and they can become aware of the opportunities right here in their backyard that they might not be aware of.”
Nilges currently resides in Wynstone with his wife, Erin, who is a librarian at Dakota Valley. They have a six-year-old son, Bennett, and a four-year-old daughter, Zoey. They enjoy being outdoors, travelling, attending community events and spending time with family and friends.
“I hope to help keep a good thing going at Dakota Valley,” Nilges said.