BROOKINGS – The Boys & Girls Club of the Northern Plains board of directors has announced the hiring of Tim Lease as CEO. 

Lease has served as principal of Camelot Intermediate School in Brookings for the past three years. 

“I am looking forward to leading the Boys & Girls Club of the Northern Plains and working with the board of directors, club staff, club youth and partners,” Lease said. “I feel that my beliefs fit in perfectly with the mission and goals of the Boys & Girls Club of the Northern Plains. I’m excited to join the Club on June 10.”

“We are excited to welcome Tim as our CEO for the Boys & Girls Club of the Northern Plains. His leadership, experience, and accomplishments as the principal in Milbank, Brookings, and his other work experience, make him a great fit for the CEO position,” Board Chair Larry Tidemann said. 

“Tim’s work at Camelot is evidence of his passion for youth work, business growth, and community support. He is knowledgeable, innovative, values relationships, building community, and is aware of the opportunities and challenges the Brookings, Yankton and Moody County communities face. Tim is prepared and eager to help our organization, members, and communities thrive,” Tidemann added.

During his tenure as principal at Camelot, Lease has built his leadership style by creating strong relationships with students, staff, parents and the community, according to the release from the club. He has also worked closely with staff on the implementation of professional learning communities and focusing on current best teaching practices.

Prior to becoming the Camelot Intermediate School principal, Lease spent three years as the Koch Elementary School principal in Milbank. At Koch, Lease worked with Milbank Superintendent Tim Graf to open up the Bulldog Preschool. Also, he was active in the community as a member of the church council, youth and education board chair, child protection team, Junior Achievement board member, and volunteered to coach youth baseball and basketball teams.

Preceding Lease’s administrative experiences, he taught for six years in the Brookings School District in fifth grade at Hillcrest and Camelot. Before moving to South Dakota, Lease taught for 11 years in Minnesota as part of the Onamia School District. Eight of the years were spent teaching at the Mille Lacs Academy, which is a juvenile treatment center for at risk youth. During his time in Minnesota, Lease was also a high school boys’ basketball and baseball coach. 

“I have dedicated my whole career to helping and empowering our youth,” Lease said. “I have seen the amazing things that the Boys & Girls Club of the Northern Plains has going. I’m looking forward to leading and making a positive impact on our youth in Brookings Flandreau, and Yankton.”

Lease holds a master’s degree in educational administration from South Dakota State University and a bachelor’s degree in elementary education from St. John’s University in Collegeville, Minnesota.

“The search committee completed a nationwide search and feels as though we have selected the person who not only has the necessary skills and background, but also will be a great fit for our communities,” Search Committee Chair Reece Kurtenbach said. “We would like to thank our search committee members for their diligent work in this search for our next CEO. We’re very excited to work with Tim and begin this new chapter at the Boys & Girls Club of the Northern Plains.”

Outgoing CEO Vanessa Merhib announced her resignation in December due to a planned move to South Caroline and said she would step down May 24.

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